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Posthumous Honoring of the Austrian Priest Balthasar Linsinger as “Righteous Among the Nations”


On the 13th April 2011 the Embassy of the State of Israel and the President of the Austrian Parliament Barbara Prammer organized ihe posthumous honoring of the Austrian parish priest Balthasar Linsinger as “Righteous Among the Nations” in the Austrian Parliament building in Vienna.

Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, awards this tribute to non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.  Aviv Shir-On, Ambassador of the state of Israel in Austria, handed over the certificate and the medal to the niece of the late priest, Maria Hettegger.

Balthasar Linsinger offered his help to Valerie Bäumer and her three children and hid them in his house in Großarl during the war. In doing so he saved the lives of them all, since the family was already listed for deportation when they managed to flee. Ambassador Aviv Shir-On emphasized in his speech that Linsinger rescued not only a family but also the honor of his village and of his country. “He was the guardian of the conscience of the people in Großarl and in Austria… in a time when conscience was oppressed by evil,” he stated.

President Barbara Prammer said that it was a pleasure to celebrate such a special event in the Parliament. She emphasized not to forget that there were too few people who showed the necessary courage that Balthasar Linsinger displayed during the Holocaust.

Dr. Danielle Spera, Director of the Vienna Jewish Museum, moderated and the Austrian actress Elisabeth Orth recited the story of the Bäumer family’s rescue.