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1.1.1944, Rathaus [Town Hall]

Franz Langoth is appointed mayor. The myth of his efforts to bring about the surrender of Linz without a fight lasts long after 1945. It is based mainly on falsified reports.

Franz Langoth had a remarkable career in the Nazi administration. The climax was his appointment as mayor of Linz. Langoth was already active for the NSDAP by 1933 and, after the “Anschluss”, he became head of the Nazi Volkswohlfahrt [People’s Welfare Organisation], an SS brigadier, a member of the German Reichstag [Parliament] and judge. In that position he was jointly responsible for handing down death sentences such as that on Camilla Estermann of Linz.

In his memoirs he stated that, looking back, “there is nothing in my court activity for which I should reproach myself”. The myth that Langoth was responsible for the “peaceful surrender” of Linz to the US army continued to be current long after 1945. However, to a great extent this legend rests on a falsification of his secretary’s notes that was carried out by Langoth himself.

After the liberation of Linz Langoth was interned in Glasenbach till 1947; investigations under laws relating to war crimes and the Prohibition Act did not lead to prosecution proceedings.

In 1950 Langoth was granted a pardon by the federal president of Austria. Langoth was active in a relief organisation for former Nazis and the first honorary member of the Verband der Unabhängigen [Association of Independents], which later became the Freedom Party of Austria. In 1973 a street in Linz was even named after him. It was renamed “Kaiserstraße” in 1986 after an extended debate.