Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße / Steiner Kellergasse

The fate of the imprisoned political dissidents sometimes moved even their guards, not all of whom were loyal National Socialists. Hedwig Stocker had started working in the prison of the District Court in March 1941. She was 38 years old. After the end of the Nazi regime in 1945, twelve former prisoners signed a petition calling for this “benevolent spirit of the political prisoners” to be rehired: “Disregarding herself and the risk of losing her job, she did everything for us, e.g. providing us food, always offering us possibilities for living a humane existence, […] In the final critical days, when the events in the Stein Prison also encroached on Krems (6–8 April), Frau Stocker prepared and supported the escape of political prisoners on her own initiative.” The text does not mention that Stocker had gone so far as to hide resistance fighter Maria Polak in her garden shed for a month because she was afraid the SS might make an example of her just before the war’s end. Hedwig Stocker continued her work until 1950. She died in 1997.

In 2021 the Historians’ Advisory Council of the city of Krems proposed naming a small park next to the old city wall after Hedwig Stocker.