Alfred Wödl (1934 – 1941)

Alfred Wödl was born the son of nurse Anna Wödl in Vienna in 1934. A few weeks before his birth, his mother had suffered from smoke inhalation. Alfred's problems with speaking and walking later in his life were assumed to be a result of this accident.

From April 1939 onwards, Alfred was housed in the Gugging institution. In 1940, rumours of »euthanasia« murders arose in Vienna. What was often striking were the notices of death due to »wartime measures« after the patients had been transferred. After meeting other parents, Anna Wödl thus personally approached Hermann Linden at the Reich Ministry of the Interior in Berlin to protest about the deportations of patients in Vienna – unsuccessfully.

In January 1941, she was told by a nurse that Alfred was to be taken to the Hartheim killing centre. Again she called on Linden in Berlin. He only conceded that Alfred would not be transferred to Hartheim.

Alfred was then taken to the »children's ward« at the Am Spiegelgrund institution in Vienna. He was murdered on 22 February 1941, five days after Anna Wödl had last visited him. The cause of his death was officially »pneumonia«. After his autopsy, Alfred's brain was kept in the pathology department of the hospital until 2001, after which it received a burial.

Image: Alfred Wödl with his mother Anna, undated
Alfred Wödl with his mother Anna, undated
© Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes