1950: Johann Trnka, the last executed in Austria

Austria’s last execution took place on this date in 1950. Johann Trnka, murderer of a 51-year-old widow and her maid — the late Hermine Kolle’s apartment became popularly notorious as the Grauen Haus (“horror house”) after Trnka had finished with it* — holds the distinction.

Austria abolished the death penalty for ordinary civilian crimes on June 30 of that same year, and for all crimes in 1968. It’s gone, but naturally not forgotten; German speakers might enjoy this short pdf survey of the annals of Austrian executioners.

* Or maybe not. See comments.

2 thoughts on “1950: Johann Trnka, the last executed in Austria”

  1. You’re mixing up your German. “Das Graue Haus” (first inflection) or “des Grauen Hauses” (second inflection) simply means “grey house”, and refers to the “Justizanstalt Wien Josefstadt”, which is a prison or jail. The colour grey refers to the uniforms that the inmates used to wear.

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