Kurt Horeischy, Univ.-Ass. Dr.

25.3.1913 – 5.4.1945
born in Wien, Austria died in Wien, Austria


Ehrung Titel Datierung Fakultät
Monument Gedenktafel, Fakultät für Chemie 1947 Faculty of Philosophy
Monument Memorial Wall of the Faculty of Chemistry 2018 Faculty of Chemistry

Kurt Horeischy, born on March 25th, 1913 as the son of the secondary school teacher Jakob Horeischy, graduated from the Bundesrealgymnasium in Vienna´s 13th district in 1931 and studied physics and chemistry at the University of Vienna from 1932 to 1937, was a member of the "Red Students" and a convinced anti-fascist.
After approbation of his dissertation "On the Measurement of Extremely Low Gas Pressures" in physics in October 1937, successful completion of his physics viva voce ("Rigorosum") with Professors Egon Schweidler, Hans Thirring and Hermann Mark in December 1937 and after passing the philosophy viva voce with philosopher Robert Reininger and psychologist Karl Buehler in February 1938, he graduated and received his doctorate in physics after the so-called "Anschluss" on April 12th, 1938.

He was soon drafted into the German Wehrmacht and took part in the Polish campaign. Due to a severe lung condition, he was soon discharged from the Wehrmacht and became an assistant at the Vienna University First Chemical Institute at Waehringer Strasse 42, where he headed the Microchemical Laboratory from 1941.

During World War II, there was a civilian shelter from air raids ("Tiefkeller"), but was increasingly used as a hiding place for Jews and for those persecuted for political reasons. The "Tomsk" resistancesgroup , which was founded in October 1944, also met here regularly and included Otto Hoffmann-Ostenhof as well as Kurt Horeischy.

A few days before the end of the war, it was clear to all members of the institute that the order to destroy important facilities and equipment was imminent, and when his assistant-colleague Hans Vollmar informed Horeischy on April 5th, 1945, that the deputy director of the institute, extraordinary Prof. Joern Lange, was preparing to destroy the electron microscope, one of only a few devices of its kind in Austria, Horeischy spontaneously decided to prevent this, but this ended with the murder of Horeischy and Vollmar.

His murderer, Joern Lange, was arrested shortly after the liberation of Vienna and sentenced to death by hanging by the People's Court of Vienna on September 15th, 1945, but shortly before the execution of the death sentence he evaded it by suicide on January 21st, 1946.


In 1951, Horeischygasse in Vienna Hietzing was named after Kurt Horeischy.

At the Faculty of Chemistry in Vienna's 9th district, Waehringerstr. 42, a memorial plaque has commemorated him and Hans Vollmar since 1947, donated by the Association of Academic Freedom Fighters ("Verband Akademischer Freiheitskaempfer").

In 1995 and 2005 commemorative events took place at the Chemical Institute (2005: "Resistance against Nazi rule at the Chemical Institute of the University of Vienna", organized by the Austrian student union ("OeH") and the Austrian Resistance Archive ("DoeW")).

In 2018, the commemorative plaque for Vollmar and Horeischy (together with that for Jacques Pollak) was moved slightly and artistically re-contextualized in the Memorial Wall of the Faculty of Chemistry ("Tabula rasa?") by Bele Marx and Gilles Mussard.

Herbert Posch

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 05/28/23


  • Commemorative plaque for Kurt Horeischy and Hans Vollmar

    Gedenktafel an die Ermordung von Kurt Horeischy und Hans Vollmar durch Prof. Jörn Lange am 5. April 1945; Chemisches Institut in Wien 9.,...

    Courtesy: Private Archive Herbert Posch, Vienna Originator: Foto Herbert Posch, Wien