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1943, 20 Lederergasse

The teacher Hermine L. writes a number of letters that were critical of the regime to her brother Walter who is a soldier stationed in Vienna. Both were sentenced to death and executed.

Hermine Lohninger was a member of the Association of Catholic Teachers and from 1934 – 1938 also of the Vaterländischen Front [Patriotic Front (Austro­fascist)]. In 1943 her brother, Walter Lohninger, was conscripted into the army and stationed in the Breitenseer barracks in Vienna. Letters the siblings wrote to each other would be their undoing.

Hermine Lohninger clearly expressed her criticism of the regime in a letter to her brother: “It can’t go on for much longer now . . . I wish the spell would be broken soon. . . . That crook, that good-for-nothing, is ruining a whole people, the gravedigger of the German people. If only the end came soon.”

When the Gestapo found this letter they arrested both siblings. Hermine Lohninger was imprisoned, interrogated and tortured for 10 days in the Gestapo prison and Urfahr judicial prison. After liberation her cellmate, Anna Riedl, reported the daily violence that the 27 year-old was subjected to. Walter Lohninger was also arrested and taken to an army prison. Both Lohningers were sentenced to death for “undermining military morale”.

Walter was executed on the 7th of February 1944 in Brandenburg, Hermine on the 2nd of August 1944 in the Vienna Court regional building.