Josefsberg amok case
Date March 29, 1948
11:35 p.m. – 11:40 p.m.
Location(s) Josefsberg, Austria
Killed 2
Injured 21
Perpetrators Two Soldiers
Weapon(s) Submachine gun

On March 29, 1948 two Soviet soldiers killed two people and wounded 21 others at an inn in Josefsberg, Austria. They were arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison.[1][2][3][4]


That evening Ignaz Haiderer, the tenant of a local inn gave a farewell party, since owners of the builing deied to run the business themselves. At about 7 p.m. two drunk Soviet soldiers, who supposedly were deserters, entered harassed the guests. At 9:30 p.m. one of the soldiers pushed one of the dancers, who stumbeled together with his partner. Guest reprehended soldier, soldier hit guest on the head with fist, Brawl in front of inn, soldier lying on floor was kicked by men and hit with a pole,

Soldier left towards Wienerbruck, returned together with one or two colleagues, at 11:35 p.m., his face blackened,[5] one of them opened fire with machine pistol at guests on the dance floor, and musicians, killed orchestra leader Franz Niederer, and 22-year-old woman Laura Jorda, seriously injured 14, slightly injured seven, among the wounded were three of Niederer's sons, fired 46 rounds, after five minutes soldiers left.[6][7][8]


Police reported the shooting to russian comandant in Lilienfeld who arrived at the scene and headed investigation into the murders. Telephone communication between Josefsberg and Vienna was cut, a communique by the Austrian Government Ministry regarding the shooting was withdrawn without explanation, security control in the area was tightened.[5][9]

Despite assurance from russian side to pursue and hand out the most severe punishment to the shooters, and reporting that they had surrendered to Russian authorities on March 31,[10] they were not arrested until a few days later, after chancelor Leopold Figl intervened.[7] In June the same year they were each sentenced to 25 years in prison.[11][12]


  • Laura Jorda, 22
  • Franz Niederer, 48


  • Gamsjäger, Bernhard: Josefsberg, am 29. März 1948 .... Gedenkschrift des Musikvereines Ötscherland; Frankenfels 1998.


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