Nazi Terror
Gestapo and Police
# NS-Justice

Immediately following the »Anschluss,« the justice system was turned into a tool of terror, especially against political adversaries, but also to intimidate the general population. Toward the implementation of  NS legal concepts in Austria, time-tested methods from the »Altreich« where applied: staff cleansing and infiltration with party loyals, political pressure and influence on the judges, interference with the jurisdiction. Widespread sympathizing with National Socialism among the Austrian judges accelerated this process. The People's Court (Volksgerichtshof), the Higher Regional Courts Vienna and Graz, and the special courts as well as military courts sentenced thousands of Austrians on charges of resistance or for violations against NS-laws. Entire population segments  (such as e.g., Jews and Poles) were no longer handled by the justice system, but transferred to the SS- and police apparatus without any legal proceedings, which eventually ended in concentration camp internments and/or murder.


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Over 1,100 executions were carried out by guillotine in Vienna. Most of the victims belonged to the resistance.

Death cell in Vienna’s main prison Announcement of an execution
Karoline Redler »Volksgerichtshof« court
Karl Lauterbach Walter Lillich