September 1, 2019

The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation proclaimed a new House of Life

In Hinterbruhl, Austria

In Hinterbruhl, AustriaThe ceremony took place at the SOS Kinderdorf site (originally Count Motesickzky mansion) on August 21, 2019, with the attendance of local authorities, diplomats and relatives of the rescuer.

Houses of Life is a program lead by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, an educational NGO created by ! Baruch Tenembaum and chaired by Eduardo Eurnekian. Its mission is to identify and honor those who reached out and helped people in need by risking their own lives, as well as the life of family and friends. All through Europe more then 500 venues has been identified so far. Among them, convents, monasteries, churches, schools, and privately owned homes, where Jews persecuted by the Nazis were sheltered and received food and medicines.

Thomas Wick, director of SOS-Kinderdorf Hinterbrühl, opened the ceremony and welcomed the guests ant the attendance.

Following his presentation Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig, representative of local politics; Irene Szimak, chairwoman of SOS-Kinderdorf and Danny Rainer, Vicepresident of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation delivered speeches.

Among the guests were Talya Lador-Fresher, Ambassador of Israel in Austria; Peter Michael Lingens, son of Kurt and Ella Lingens, w! ho were in the resistance group with Karl Motesiczky; Miki and Ilan Karplus, arriving from the US, who‘s father was a cousin of Karl Motesiczky; Raimund Fastenbauer, general secretary of the Isrealite cultic community in Austria and Ulrike Götterer, deputy mayor of Hinterbrühl.

The story

Karl Wolfgang Franz Count Motesiczky was a renowned Austrian psychoanalyst who resisted Nazism.

Count Motesiczky was born in 1904, from a wealthy and aristocratic family. During WWII, his huge mansion at Hinterbruhl saved a temporary shelter for Jews and members of the resistance, such as Dr. Kurt Lingens and his wife, Ella Lingens.

In October 1942, the Lingens couple and Count Motesiczky were apprehended by the Nazis. Kurt was drafted as a soldier and assigned to the Russian front, where he sustained serious injuries. Count Motesiczky and Dr. Ella Lingens were sent to Auschwitz. Motesickzy died of typhus while Lingens ! managed to survive the death march. Before that, as a physician, she saved many Jews in the camp.

In the wake of the war, the Hinterbruhl mansion became a SOS-Children’s villages. Back in 1961, his mother and sister deployed a memorial for Karl, which was destroyed in summer 2000 and defaced with swastikas. In 2007, a Stolpersteine was placed in front of the building, in remembrance of Count Motesickzy.

Both Count Motesiczky and Dr. Ella Lingens have been officially recognized as Righteous among the Nations.

In a joint statement, Eduardo Eurnekian and Baruch Tenembaum declared: “Count Motesiczky was one of the most prominent Austrian rescuers. He paid with his life his epic of solidarity and civic courage. We are proud to proclame his mansion a House of Life that, as such, will be an indelible mark of a unique legacy.”

1-Thomas Wick, Irene Szimak, Danny Rainer, Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig and Ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher.

2-The unveiling of the plaque

3-Irene Szimak

4-Count Motesickzky’s mansion

5-The plaque