A VICTIM OF HIS TIME? #SCHUSCHNIGG LETTERS CONT.
The Gestapo kept Kurt Schuschnigg in solitary confinement except for weekly visits by his wife, Vera. He worried about his son, Kurt Jr., who was not allowed to attend school in Vienna and had to be put into a boarding school in Munich.
Vera to Hermann Wopfner, 26 Jänner 1941
We have now removed the boy from classes, and he studies privately with the director of his boarding school. It is an expensive proposition, but it had to be done. He couldn’t cope with a number of subjects and was at risk of failing in the fall. Under the present arrangement, he has to try harder and learns a great deal more. We hope he will pass. This business of his schooling is really a cross to bear!
Vera to Hermann Wopfner, 28 Feb 1941
You are asking about Kurt Jr. That is a difficult chapter. He could be an excellent student if he wanted to. He isn’t stupid after all, but unfortunately he does not want to study! He is terribly absentminded and playful and has no idea of the seriousness of life. Things are improved now because he is taught together with only one other pupil, so that he can be put under greater pressure. Poor Kurt [Sr.] is very concerned about him. I would like to get the boy into a military academy. Seven new schools have been established on the initiative of the army, and he urgently needs discipline. But it is questionable whether I will succeed. I always come up against difficulties, but in my opinion it would be the best solution for him.
Kurt Schuschnigg to his brother Artur, 7 Mai 1941
Many thanks for taking my Kurt [Jr.] to the opera! Please keep an eye on him if you can and it’s not too much bother. I would like him to develop some interests, and not just in airplanes and tanks! I’m sometimes concerned about the boy. Of course things aren’t entirely his fault. In the final analysis he is a victim of the times. Vera troubles herself a great deal about him, but she can’t work miracles. He is basically a good soul, but easy-going and immature. I am very attached to him! Well, you know yourself how much wife and children mean to a man!
(My trans. from Sofort Vernichten, ed. A. Binder and H. Schuschnigg)