6.4.45 by Ramesch Daha

Anibas-Promenade / Justizanstalt Krems-Stein

6.4.45 is a 100-metre-long and 7.5-metre-high mural by the artist Ramesch Daha on the external wall of the Krems-Stein Penal Institution. The title refers to the massacre in what was then Stein Prison on 6 April 1945.

Shortly before the end of the war and the liberation by the Red Army, Franz Kodré, the director of the prison, ordered the release of all prisoners. The guard Anton Pomassl, who was “block leader” of the local NSDAP branch, informed the Nazi district administration in Krems. A force comprising personnel from the paramilitary terror organisation SS, its military wing the Waffen-SS, the regular armed forces Wehrmacht and the conscript militia Volkssturm advanced and, on the pretext of suppressing a revolt, opened fire on the prisoners. Many people who  nevertheless managed to get out of the prison alive were captured by inhabitants of the region around Krems and shot dead.

The massacre at Stein Prison and the associated local murders, which were cynically dubbed the “Krems Hare Hunt”, took the lives of around 600 prisoners. Painted in blue on the wall, the artwork 6.4.45 reproduces 17 pages of the register book in which the prisoners’ names were recorded. The writing has been copied in such a way that the individual names are illegible. Some names are crossed out; these are prisoners who finished serving their sentences after 1945 and whose entries were usually deleted from the register.

The names on the selected register pages are not, however, a full list of all the people murdered, for whom there remains no complete record. A list of names of the people killed on and after 6 April 1945 is being compiled by a group of historians.