Josef Fitzthum and the Gerngroß tear gas attack 1932

Discussions on all aspects of the SS and Polizei. Hosted by Andrey.
User avatar
Ivan Ž.
Host - Music section
Posts: 7864
Joined: 05 Apr 2005 12:28
Location: Serbia

Josef Fitzthum and the Gerngroß tear gas attack 1932

Post by Ivan Ž. » 04 Feb 2020 23:42

A rather forgotten episode and a rare photo of Josef Fitzthum, future SS-Gruppenführer and HSSPF Albanien: On 18 December 1932, a group of National Socialists launched a tear gas attack in the well known (still existing) Gerngroß store in Vienna. The slogan that the Nazis issued on that day was: "Don't buy from Jews!" The attack caused great panic and the 23 attackers, including the leader SS-Sturmbannführer Fitzthum, were arrested afterwards (see also the note at the bottom). Fitzthum was tried in March 1933 and sentenced to two and a half months in prison.
147368.jpg
This rare photo, taken probably (judging by the atmosphere) prior to the attack (Fitzthum was promoted to the pictured rank less than a month earlier), was accompanied by the following caption after the attack:
Verhaftung der Tränengasbombenleger im Warenhaus Gerngoss.

Die Wiener Polizei hat 23 Nationalsozialisten die in der Tränengasaffäre am Goldenen Sonntag im Kaufhaus Gerngross verwickelt sind, verhaftet. Wie erinnerlich wurde am Goldenen Sonntag nachtseinkäufe war, ein Tränengasattentat ausgeführt das grosse Panik hervorrief. Man vermutete sofort, dass es sich um eine Aktion der Wiener Nationalsozialisten handelt, die an diesem Tag eine Parole ausgegeben hatten: "Kauft nicht bei Juden". In den letzten Tagen konnte die Wiener Polizei Klarheit in dieser Angelegenheit schaffen und wurde unter anderen auch der Führer dieser Aktion Fitzthum verhaftet.

Unser Bild zeigt: Den Führer der Wiener Standarte und Leiter des Tränengasattentat Fitzthum.

[Leo Ernst - Albert Hilscher]
An anti-Nazi caricature from "Das Kleine Blatt", published two days after the attack.
Caption: "Gas bombs - Hakenkreuzler's Christmas present".
Hakenkreuzler.jpg
Sources: Cegesoma (#147368); Wien Geschichte Wiki (Anschlag auf das Kaufhaus Gerngroß); Das Kleine Blatt (20.12.1932, p. 1).

Note: According to the Wien Geschichte Wiki, the attack was planned and organised by Max Grillmayr and led by Franz Mazanek, and there were 26 attackers arrested/tried. However, they also stated that it was Fitzthum who got the longest sentence, but didn't elaborate why.

Cheers,
Ivan
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Andrey
Host - ABR sections
Posts: 4429
Joined: 07 Jun 2005 13:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Josef Fitzthum and the Gerngroß tear gas attack 1932

Post by Andrey » 05 Feb 2020 06:06

Very interesting, Ivan!
Many thanks,

Andrey.

User avatar
Ivan Ž.
Host - Music section
Posts: 7864
Joined: 05 Apr 2005 12:28
Location: Serbia

Re: Josef Fitzthum and the Gerngroß tear gas attack 1932

Post by Ivan Ž. » 05 Feb 2020 19:45

Cheers, Andrey. Do you by any chance recognise the man on the left, with glasses? He looks so familiar...

Ivan

PS
Regarding the date of the photo: it was taken between 25 November 1932 (Fitzthum's promotion to SS-Stubaf.) and 23 March 1933 (his trial). According to the Wien Geschichte Wiki, the investigation was slow; so it's difficult estimating when exactly Fitzthum was arrested - days or months after the attack (the photo was definitely taken prior to his arrest, and after his promotion, during some sort of parade it seems).

Return to “The Phil Nix SS & Polizei section”