März 2017 © Thomas Kleissl
The couple Martin and Rosa Steiner lived in an apartment on the first floor at 3, Andreas-Hofer-Straße. During the attack by a group of SA or NSKK, Martin Steiner, aged 69, suffered injuries to his foot, head, and ribs, and his 65-year-old-wife Rosa Steiner (née Brüll) was also not spared. Due to his severe injuries, Martin Steiner had to use a cane for an extended period. On December 28th, 1938, the couple moved to Vienna, where Martin Steiner died in 1941. In 1942, his widow was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and murdered at the Maly Trostinec extermination camp. Their daughter Gabriele was the only survivor, as she had managed to flee to the United States shortly after the annexation.
Martin Steiner was the owner of the company S. Steiner, a liqueur factory, brandy distillery, and wholesale tea business, until it was “Aryanized” in the summer of 1938. (III)
März 2017 © Thomas Kleissl
On the night of the pogrom, a group of 7 to 9 NSKK men (Storm 5, Pradl) led by Obertruppführer Josef Ebner forcefully gained entry to 13, Andreas Hofer Street using threats of violence. They broke down the door of the Schindler apartment on the first floor. Hugo Schindler was severely injured by Scharführer August Hörhager with a toboggan and kicks to the face, causing him to bleed heavily and lose consciousness. His sister-in-law Grete was unharmed. The furniture in the apartment, including the piano, porcelain, and glassware, was smashed. Doctor Otto Biendl, who lived on the third floor, provided medical treatment to Hugo and had him taken to a sanatorium, preventing his arrest by the Gestapo. Edith Schindler, née Roth had already been living in London since February 1938, where her 13-year-old son Kurt and parents followed in September 1938. Hugo Schindler’s 81-year-old mother, Sofie, survived the night unharmed in Igls.
Hugo Schindler came from a family of entrepreneurs. His parents, Samuel and Sofie Schindler, had been living on the first floor of 13, Andreas Hofer Street since 1887. The “First Tyrolean Fruit Juice Presser, Distillery for Agricultural Products and Liqueur Factory, Samuel Schindler” was headquartered on the ground floor, offering liqueurs, Schnapps, jams, compotes, and more. Later, the family moved to a villa in Igls. Sofie Schindler, née Dubsky, took over the management of the company after her husband Samuel’s death on March 2, 1915. Her sons Otto, Hugo, Erich and Erwin served as soldiers in World War I. Erwin Schindler died at the age of 22 on July 9, 1915, during frontline action in Poland. After World War I, Hugo and Erich took over the company, with their mother Sofie remaining involved in the decision-making process.
Otto Schindler studied medicine and worked as a dermatologist in Vienna, becoming a pioneer in radium therapy. On July 6, 1934, Otto committed suicide near Innsbruck. In December 1922, Hugo and Erich opened “Cafe Schindler” at Maria Theresien Strasse 29, which became a hotspot for cultural and social life with its specialties and dance cafe. In 1925, Hugo and Erich bought a plot of land at 10, Renweg, where the “Schindler Villa” was completed in 1930 according to the plans of architect Hermann Muthesius. Hugo and his wife Edith, née Roth, moved in with their son Kurt. Erich and his wife Margarete “Grete“, née Herschan, along with their son Peter, continued to live at 13, Andreas Hofer Strasse. Martha Schindler, the only daughter of Sofie and Samuel, lived with her husband Siegfried Salzer and their children Erwin and Marguerite in Vienna.
After the National Socialists seized power in March 1938, life for Jewish families changed drastically, with nighttime curfews, bans on entering cinemas, theaters, and the Hofgarten, and the exclusion of jewish children from schools. Jewish businesses and properties were forcibly taken over.
Café Schindler – 29, Maria-Theresien-Straße – April 15, 1938 (a)
In the summer of 1938, Hugo was arrested for alleged tax evasion and held at the former “Gasthaus Sonne” near the main train station. On behalf of Gauleiter Franz Hofer and under the threat of re-arrest, the Innsbruck Sparkasse handled the forced sale of the “Schindler Villa”. The Schindler brothers never received a cent of the agreed purchase price of 60,000 Reichsmarks. The Gauleiter and his wife and seven children lived in the villa on Renweg from July 1938 until May 1945.
SS-Sturmführer Franz Hiebl, a native of Innsbruck, an early member of the NSDAP, and an illegal activist from the outset, was a beneficiary of the forced sale of “Café Schindler”. From June 4, 1938, „Café Patisserie Hiebl„ became a popular meeting place for Nazis. The apartment and distillery in 13, Andreas Hofer Strasse were seized and aryanized by Erwin Jäger.
After the pogrom, Hugo and his mother Sofie had to leave Innsbruck. They moved into an apartment in Vienna owned by Marguerite, the daughter of Martha Salzer. Erich, Grete and Peter followed them there. While the brothers managed to emigrate to England, a different fate awaited their mother Sofie and their sister Martha. Sofie, Martha and her husband Siegfried Salzer were deported from Vienna to Theresienstadt on August 27, 1942. Sofie died there on September 4, 1942, and Siegfried on September 15, 1942. Martha was transferred to Auschwitz on May 16, 1944, and was murdered there.
Erich passed away in 1941 due to a heart attack in England. Hugo returned to Innsbruck with his family in 1950. Through difficult restitution procedures, the Andreas Hofer Straße, the Café and the Villa were recovered. The Schindler Villa had been occupied by the French occupying forces after the end of the war. Hugo Schindler passed away on June 13, 1952, in his office in Innsbruck. In her book “The Café Schindler,” Kurt’s daughter Meriel Schindler reports a bizarre visit her father made to former Gauleiter Franz Hofer in Mühlheim-an-der-Ruhr in Germany, demanding rent payment for the seven-year occupation of the “Schindler Villa”. (III)
In September 2020, stones of remembrance were laid for Sofie Schindler, Martha and Siegfried Salzer at 22, Maria Theresien Straße in 1090 Vienna.
November 2008 © Thomas Kleissl
At 29, Andreas-Hofer-Straße lived the widower Arthur Goldenberg with his younger son Fritz. On the night of the progrom, up to six perpetrators invaded the apartment and knocked out several teeth in battering the widower.
By the autumn of 1938, the older son Alfred had already sought refuge in Palestine. Arthur’s wife (Rosa, née Gutstein) committed suicide by jumping out of window of the apartment on November 2nd, 1938.
In 1939, Fritz and his father reached Palestine. (I)
On November 1st, 1938 the married couple Julius and Emma Pasch, née Schneider and their two youngest children (Ruth and Gerda) were kicked out of their dwelling in 1, Anichstraße and forcibly put into the apartment of the elderly Anna Seidel and Adolf Neumann in 29, Andreas-Hofer-Straße. There, the Pasch family were witness to the suicide of Rosa Goldenberg. During the night of the progrom, perpetrators broke in and badly beat up the old Jewish couple. They didn´t touch the Pasch children and overlooked their parents, who were in a separate bedroom.
Adolf Neumann was deported to Poland and murdered there, while Anna Seidel survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp and came back to Innsbruck in 1945. Willi Seidel, son of Anna Seidel, reached Vienna in March 1938 and escaped to Palestine in February 1939. He died there, in a mining accident, in the same year. (II)
November 2008 © Thomas Kleissl
40, Andreas Hofer Straße
Flora Bauer, née Gold, widow of Julius Bauer and her son Stefan lived at 40, Andreas-Hofer-Straße, where they were assaulted and injured during the night.
From left: Flora, Stefan, Wilhelm and Julis Bauer 1916 (b)
Flora Bauer was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and from there to the the Maly Trostinec extermination camp where she was murdered on 26 September 1942.
Stefan Bauer – later Bower – emigrated from Vienna to New Zealand via Genova in 1939, where he founded a clothes shop which was later taken over by his son Ron Bower.
On January 13th, 2002 Ron Bower took an entry in the guestbook:
“Incredible site, I knew some of the details about this, but to see my family names there, was very emotional. If anybody has any informations that can help me in my family reseach, I would appreciate it very much.” Ron Bower
In June 2006 Ron Bower and his wife Sandra visited Innsbruck for the first time. Together with Inge Brüll we were at the Jewish Cemetery, at his father´s place at Andreas-Hofer-Strasse 40, at Gänsbacherstraße 5, where his uncle Wilhelm was murdered and at the Memorial on Landhausplatz. (I)
(I) Gerhard Buzas
(II) Valerie Neal
(III) Translated by OpenAI’s ChatGPT
Martin Achrainer < Das Pogrom-Denkmal > in: Gabriele Rath / Andrea Sommerauer / Martha Verdorfer (Hg.), “Bozen Innsbruck – zeitgeschichtliche stadtrundgänge”, Folio Verlag 2000, S 85 – 89
Ernst Oppenheim < To Remember Me By - First Crusade Through Holocaust - Facts, Fragments, Lore and Legends > Nobis Press
Meriel Schindler < The Lost Café Schindler. One Family, two wars and the search for truth. > Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 2021
Horst Schreiber < Jüdische Geschäfte in Innsbruck - Eine Spurensuche, Projekt des Abendgymnasiums Innsbruck > Tiroler Studien zu Geschichte und Politik 1, herausgegeben von der Michael-Gaismair-Gesellschaft, StudienVerlag 2001, S 29-31
Gad Hugo Sella < Die Juden Tirols - Ihr Leben und Schicksal > Israel 1979, S 86-88
Maria Luise Stainer < "Ich hab´mich gefühlt wie bei der Vertreibung aus dem Paradies" - Berichte Vertriebener aus Tirol > in: Thomas Albrich (Hg.), „Wir lebten wie sie…“. Jüdische Lebensgeschichten aus Tirol und Vorarlberg, Haymon-Verlag Innsbruck 1999, S. 355-372
(a) Café Schindler – © Niko Hofinger
(b) Private ownership Ron Bower
“… belaboured with beer bottles”. Assault on Martin and Rosa Steiner – https://pogrom-erinnern.at – last visit 20.10.2023
“And if it kills him, it’s all the same!” The attack on Hugo Schindler – https://pogrom-erinnern.at – last visit 20.10.2023
Reading Circle 49: ‚The Lost Cafe Schindler‘ by Meriel Schindler – Andrew and Sandra Milne-Skinner – https://cba.fro.at/549253 – last visit 20.10.2023
Ron Bower – various emails and visit Innsbruck 2006
Valerie Neal – various emais 2007/2008
Solem Inauguration “Stones of Remembrance” for Sofie Schindler, Martha Salzer, Siegfried Salzer – https://steinedererinnerung.net/en/projects/9th-alsergrund/september-2020/ – last visit 06.11.2023