Proksch, Adolf Vinzenz Josef

Adolf Proksch

Mann mit Schnauzbart und Uniform im Profil, Schwarz-Weiß-Foto

18 January 1886 Olmütz / Olomouc – 23 March 1966 Vienna

Adolf Proksch came from a conservative Catholic background. He studied law and until the First World War he worked for the Vienna Siemens-Schuckert-Werke and thereafter for the Ministry of War. In 1916 he married Sabine, née Hagenauer (1890–1974) and they had four children. Between 1920 and 1933 he worked again for Siemens-Schuckert-Werke and Jugoslawische Siemens AG in Zagreb. From 1934 he held various positions in the Patriotic Front, rising to become head of Section IV (Business, finance and budget).

After the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, he was arrested on 13 March 1938 because of his close connections with Kurt Schuschnigg and detained at the police prison on Rossauer Lände until 31 March before being transported on 1 April with the first "VIP transport" to Dachau, where he was interned until 18 January 1939. He seems to have managed to come to terms with the new political situation, as can be seen from his recruitment as paymaster (Oberzahlmeister) in the German Wehrmacht in summer/autumn 1939, membership of the National Socialist People's Welfare (NS-Volkswohlfahrt) and the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) in November 1939, and the award of the War Cross of Merit Second Class with Swords in December 1940. Until 31 March 1944 he was employed in Military District Administration (Wehrkreisverwaltung) XVII in Vienna, before being transferred to the Reich Domain Administration in the Reich Ministry of Food, where he worked until the end of the war. In 1942 he passed the agriculture exam at the Lower Danube Provincial Agriculture Department (Landesbauernschaft Niederdonau) in Staasdorf near Tulln and in August 1943 purchased two-thirds of a property at Gumpendorferstraße 114 in Vienna's 6th district, which had been expropriated in 1939 from Margit and Arnold Löffler during the "Aktion Gildemeester" On 14 March 1944 he also acquired the rented piece of land seized from Nanette Schechner at Tandelmarktgasse 10 in Vienna's 2nd district. In February 1944 he sold a painting by Pietro Berettini da Cortona, a Biedermeier floral still life by Johann Baptist Drechsler on wood and the painting Four Doves by Jacob Victor at Galerie Sanct Lucas in Vienna. Whereas the whereabouts of the first two paintings are unknown, the last one, which he was documented as having owned before 1938, was given to the "Sonderauftrag Linz" by Robert Herzig, owner of Galerie Sanct Lucas Robert Herzig. Proksch sold a Baroque Chronos statue to the Österreichische Galerie in March 1944, whose origins have not yet been determined. He was paid 15,000 Reichsmarks for these artworks.

After the war, the US authorities interned Proksch at the Golling camp in Salzburg and the Glasenbach internment camp from 28 August to 6 December 1945 in error, confusing him with the former NSDAP provincial head and Reich trustee of the Austrian National Socialists Alfred Proksch. He then worked until 31 May 1946 for the domain administration of the Lower Austrian provincial government. Through the intervention of the Federal Chancellor at the time Leopold Figl (ÖVP) he was employed in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Reconstruction from June 1946. Negotiations on the restitution of the property in Gumpendorferstraße ended in 1950 with a settlement in favour of Margit Löffler and a final payment by Proksch. On the application of Nanette Schechner's son Theodor Eiler, the property in Tandelmarktgasse was returned in 1951. The following year, Proksch became a member of the ÖVP-Kameradschaft politisch Verfolgter (ÖVP fellowship of political persecutees). A few months later the victim welfare section of Vienna City Administration Department 12 awarded him compensation for his internment in 1938/39. Proksch retired on 28 February 1954 but in 1955 obtained a business licence as a Nazi persecutee, allowing him to manage a tobacconist's (Trafik) at Maurer Hauptstraße 34 in Vienna's 23rd district and at Westbahnhof platform 1 in the 7th district. He was awarded further compensation – for loss of earnings, among other things – until mid-1962. Proksch himself had applied in 1948 for return of the painting Four Doves, which had been stored in Altaussee and was moved on 8 July 1945 to the Central Collecting Point in Munich. In 1960 the picture, stored with the Federal Monuments Authority, was returned to him. No application for restitution of the statuette Chronos can be found.

The date on which the sculpture in question was sold in 1944 was much later than Proksch's internment in 1938/39 and in fact took place just before the purchase of the expropriated properties in 1943 and 1944 for a total price of 61,000 Reichsmarks. As the sale was not connected with persecution by the Nazis, the Art Restitution Advisory Board recommended at its meeting of 30 March 2022 that the sculpture should not be restituted.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Beiratsbeschluss Adolf Proksch, 30.3.2022, URL: (28.4.2022).

Generalsekretariat der Vaterländischen Front, Rundschreiben 9, 15.12.1934, 1; Rundschreiben 56, 15.5.1936, 9; Rundschreiben 84, 18.12.1936, 4.

Winfried R. Garscha, Nationalsozialisten in Österreich 1933–1938, in: Emmerich Tálos, Wolfgang Neugebauer (Hg.), Austrofaschismus. Politik – Ökonomie – Kultur 1933–1938, Wien 2014 (= Politik und Zeitgeschichte 1), 105–125.

Ernst Klee, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945, 473.

Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider/Rudolf Leo, "dachaureif". Der Österreichertransport aus Wien in das KZ Dachau am 1. April 1938. Biografische Skizzen der Opfer, Wien 2019.

Robert Kriechbauemer (Hg.), Österreich! und Front Heil! Aus den Akten des Generalsekretariats der Vaterländischen Front. Innenansichten eines Regimes (= Schriftenreihe des Forschungsinstitutes für politisch-historische Studien der Dr.-Wilfried-Haslauer-Bibliothek 23), Wien 2005.

Franz Martin, Hundert Salzburger Familien. Verlag der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, Salzburg 1946, 148–156, URL: (28.4.2022).

N. N., Aus Stadt und Land, in: Salzburger Chronik für Stadt und Land, 30.12.1936, 7.

N. N., Unsere Toten, Hofrat Dr. Adolf Proksch, in: Der Freiheitskämpfer, Organ der Kämpfer für Österreichs Freiheit 4 (April 1966), 3.

Emmerich Tálos, Das austrofaschistische Herrschaftssystem. 2. Auflage: Österreich 1933–1938, Münster 2013.

Theodor Venus/Alexandra-Eileen Wenck, Die Entziehung jüdischen Vermögens im Rahmen der Aktion Gildemeester, Wien München 2004.

Salzburgwiki, Hagenauer – Der Wiener Zweig, URL: (28.4.2022).

Verordnungsblatt für das k.u.k. Heer (Personalangelegenheiten), 220, 2.12.1916, 6.294; 154, 28.8.1918, 7.580.


Archiv des Karl von Vogelsang-Instituts, ÖVP, Kameradschaft der politisch Verfolgten, Beitrittserklärung 1.148.

Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, Schreibstubenkarte Adolf Proksch, KZ Dachau Zugangsbuch Adolf Proksch.

Archiv der Österreichischen Galerie Belvedere, Zl. 73/1944, Dr. Ad. Proksch Erwerbung: Vergoldete Holzplastik Chronos v. e. österr. Bildhauer um 1750.

Archiv der Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Gewerbeakt Adolf Proksch und Sabine Proksch.

BArchiv Berlin, ehem. Berlin Document Center, NSDAP-Mitgliederkartei; Bestand R 9.361-II; Reichsnährstand, Bestand R 16; Militärarchiv Bestand PERS 6, Meldung B 563 / 47.341, fol. 23.

BArch Koblenz, Österreich-Claims, B323/5 Restitution von Kunstwerken, 5.1 Äußere Restitution und 5.3 Restitutionsnachweise.

BDA-Archiv, Restitutionsmaterialien, K. 43, PM Adolf Proksch, K. 11, CACP München 1948.

BM für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort, Personalabteilung, PA 18.494 Adolf Proksch.

DHM, Datenbank zum "Central Collecting Point München", Karteikarte Restitutionskartei Vier Tauben, Adolf Proksch, URL: (28.4.2022).

DÖW, Adolf Proksch, URL: (22.4.2022).
DÖW, KZ-Verband, 20.100/9.198.

OeStA/AdR, BKA-Inneres, BKA-I Parteiarchive VF, 514-1.543, Kt. 201; BKA/Sonderarchiv Moskau, Adolf Proksch, Zl. 514-1-1.543.
OeStA/AdR, Bundespensionsamt, 64-3.658/2004/4.342, Adolf Proksch.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, FLD, Zl. 23.293, Adolf Proksch.
OeStA/AdR, ZNsZ, Gauakt 92.061, Adolf Proksch.
OeStA/AdR, ZNsZ, RK Materie 2.250, 2.261/1, Landesbauernschaft Donauland; 2.261/2, Kreisbauernschaft Wien.
OeStA/KA, Adolf Proksch, Kt. 2.621.

UAW, Promotionsprotokoll für das Doktorat der Rechtswissenschaften, M 32.6-948, Adolf Proksch, 27.6.1910.

WStLA, Handelsgericht Wien, 2.3.3 A30, 2a, Metallwarenfabrik B. Waluszczyk.
WStLA, Historische Wiener Meldeunterlagen, Meldeauskunft Adolf Proksch.
WStLA, Opferfürsorgeakt Adolf Proksch, Zl. 7.534.
WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A41, VEAV 186, 15. Bez., Adolf Proksch; 267, 13. Bez., Adolf Proksch; 318, 6. Bez., Adolf Proksch; 485, 2./20. Bez. Adolf Proksch, Hans Proksch.; 214, 2. Bez., Hans Proksch, 834, 6. Bez., Adolf Proksch.