The mass grave for the 228 victims of Hofamt Priel

In a mass grave at the Jewish cemetery of St. Pölten, the mortal remains of 228 Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers - men, women and children - were buried in the night of May 2, 1945, at Hofamt Priel near Ybbs Persenbeug (Lower Austria) SS men were shot. The perpetrators, who also had to receive help from local people with local knowledge, could never be explored and therefore not condemned. In 1964 the corpses were transferred to the Jewish cemetery of St. Pölten and buried in a mass grave. The simple memorial stone bears the inscription: "Here lie the mortal remains of 223 Israeli martyrs of 1945" with Hebrew translation. The number of victims comes from a list of the camp staff at that time, the names of the burial parties are not recorded on the stone.

From several lists and documents the former employee of the Injoest Eleonore Lappin-Eppel has created a list of names, which, according to the present state of knowledge - though probably not complete - was published in 2006. She was able to find 228 victims, some of them did not know their first name. There were nine survivors, including the eleven-year-old Tibor (today Jakob) Schwarcz. His mother and his two sisters are among the victims. For many years Jakob Schwarcz, who lives in Israel since 1950, visits the grave and leaves a list of names and prayer books.

On the 70th anniversary of the massacre, on 3 May 2015, the murdered finally received a gravestone with all the names. The ceremony took place with more than a hundred participants in the ceremonial hall at the Jewish cemetery of St. Pölten, Karlstettener Straße 3. Two of the four children of Jakob Schwarcz and grandson Ori spoke personal words. Politicians, sponsors, granddaughter Na'ama and two descendants of Georg Forsthofer, who had Tibor hidden for two weeks after the massacre, as well as other supporters read all the names of the victims. Chief Shmuel Barzilai sang the death prayer El male rachamim ("God full of mercy") and finally Jakob Schwarcz prayed the Kaddish. The Injoest now initiates the honor of Georg Forsthofer as "Righteous of the Nations" at Yad Vashem.

Here you will find a short article in ORF NÖ.


Many thanks our sponsors:
Kulturabteilung des Landes Niederösterreich
Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus
Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich
Stadt St. Pölten
Jewish Welcome Service
Österreichisches Schwarzes Kreuz, Kriegsopferfürsorge
Franz Hinterhofer
Marcus Hufnagl

design of the tombstone: Renate Stockreiter

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