Carl Szokoll (1915 - 2004)

Der Standard (08/27/04)
(taken from APA)

The Fight Against Hitler was Worth It

Vienna - Carl Szokoll is dead: Known as "Vienna’s Rescuer" while serving in the resistance against the Nazis, he died at the age of 89. "I have the feeling that our fight was worth it," said Szokoll in his last interview in July 2004. He worked as the contact man of Graf Stauffenberg, who toward the end of WW II tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

After the operation "Walküre" failed, Szokoll was in charge of leading a conspiracy in order to save Vienna. The military officer assembled "perjurers," banded together with the Resistance Group 05, and in April 1945 made a deal to cooperate with the Red Army by surrendering Vienna without a struggle. Under the pretenses of a fictitious command, the German Armed Forces were to withdraw, allowing the Red Army to march into the city, and with help of the Radetzky units, to arrange for a takeover in power. The operation, however, was disclosed, and leading officers were arrested and executed. Vienna was spared, however, from total destruction.

Szokoll survived as one of the few involved in the "Radetzky Operation" and worked after the war as a film producer and author. He wrote some of the script for the film, "The Last Act" (1955), in which Albin Skoda played Hitler.

"Genuine Hero"
Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel paid tribute to the resistance fighter calling him a "genuine hero," who "contributed considerably to the freedom of the Republic of Austria." Head of the Austrian Socialist Party Alfred Gusenbauer spoke of a "great Austrian." Federal President Heinz Fischer pointed out Szokoll’s commitment to freedom and democracy. Minister of Defense Günter Platter said: "Carl Szokoll has made a name for himself in maintaining the tradition of the Federal Armed Forces." The City of Vienna will thank him with an honorary gravesite. The spokeswoman for Judicial Affairs from the Green Party, Terezija Stoisits, asked for an official ceremony.