Theresia Seidl (1914 – 1941)

Theresia Seidl, an Austrian, grew up in Burgenland. Since her 14th birthday, she had worked in a small grocery store. In 1938, she married a carpenter and became a housewife. In the summer of the following year, Theresia Seidl suddenly displayed signs of confusion and severe mood swings. She was no longer able to carry out housework and also ate less and less. Her anxious husband could no longer care for her because of his work and finally agreed to admit her to an institution in 1940. He was, however, rapidly appalled by Theresia Seidl's treatment in Gugging and demanded she be discharged in November 1940:

»If the doctors are not in a position to help, they need not imprison her for months, they might just as well release her. On my last visit on 1 November 1940, I saw that my wife is very much neglected; my wife is not a head of cattle that one can lock up for months at a time and pay no further attention to.«

However, Josef Schicker, the director of the institution, turned down his request, referring to a ban on discharging patients. Early in January 1941, Theresia Seidl was transferred from Gugging to the Hartheim killing centre, where she was murdered.

Image: Theresia Seidl at her wedding
Theresia Seidl at her wedding
© Familie Fennesz, Unterfrauenhaid/Österreich