Tabakfabrik Krems

Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30

In the 1930s, the tobacco factory in Krems employed around 1,000 workers, most of them women. In 1931 it produced some 75 million Virginia cigarettes. Like many other factories, the Krems branch of Austria Tabak was a site of organised resistance to National Socialism. The resistance fighter Leopoldine Puhl remembers the “Anschluss” in March 1938, when the workers were questioned at the gates of the tobacco factory about their political sympathies:

“Then all of them – the bosses, the foremen – were standing in their SA uniforms in front of the gate. We all had to salute with “Heil Hitler”. It was like running the gauntlet with rows of them on the left and right in front near the gate, and they looked to see who had a party badge; some people had only just joined the party […], and they pinned one on.” Leopoldine Puhl refused to give the Hitler salute. In 1942, along with other members of a resistance group, she was accused by the Gestapo of collecting donations for “Red Aid” and handing out Communist magazines. Puhl and other members of the resistance group were tried for “high treason” and sentenced to up to five years in prison. The story of this resistance group can be read on boards displayed on the second floor of the old building of the University for Further Education Krems, which has moved into part of the tobacco factory building.