Kurt Steinhauser

Andrea Strutz in her chapter on memories and narratives of Jewish refugees* describes the tale told by Edmund Engelmann. He had established a shop called Foto City in Vienna’s Karntnerstrasse  in 1932. He describes how this was taken from him:

“One day, a man named Berger, a man with a photo shop from the suburbs, came with a letter from Kaltenbrunner, who was supposedly the owner of my shop. I left the shop and never saw it again. The Aryanizer, this Mr Berger, took everything from the shop and went to the mountains… [After the war, Engelmann returned]...I came to Vienna after the war, when everything was still destroyed and found the empty shop, and my lawyer said, I should sue Berger. And then one day I got a letter from him: Mr Engelmann, you won’t believe what happened. You have been sentenced to pay a modest sum to Mr Berger because he ran the shop in your absence. It was not a large sum, but the irony that the man stole everything, my shop, the money, the goods, that – he took everything I owned, that I should pay him a modest, not large sum, symbolically, for the fact that he ran the shop in my absence, that – it can’t be grasped, because the Nazi regime was over but the administration of justice and the atmosphere was a continuation of Nazi methods."

*In Bischof, Gunter., Plasser, Fritz. (eds) (2009) New Perspectives on Austrians and World War II. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

German camera shop in the 1930s

German camera shop in the 1930s

 

 

"He rummaged in his coat pocket and pulled out a tattered card which they passed round. Under an Austrian eagle it stated ‘Victim identification’ citing a welfare law decree. Below that there was a statement saying that all authorities and public bodies should note that its bearer should be given preferential treatment, should this be asked for. Kurt’s photograph was stapled to the other side, his name below an authenticating stamp." Interrogating Ellie.

Victim identification card reads: “The holder of this victim card should be given preferred treatment by all public authorities and public institutions, at his solicitation”

Victim identification card reads: “The holder of this victim card should be given preferred treatment by all public authorities and public institutions, at his solicitation”

Be Sociable, Share!