Johann Breitwieser Breitwieser-Schani

Johann Breitwieser's Grave

On the fifth of April 1919 Schani Breitwieser was buried. On the first he had died of the shot wound to his lung in the hospital of Vienna's Landesgericht courthouse. Even though the date of the burial had not been announced, hundreds of people started to pour into the city's Beisetzkammer (burial chamber) to see the body. Reports say that crowds of people lined the streets where his coffin passed on a carriage drawn by four horses. Due to his popularity among the poor and the poorest in Vienna this event turned more into a feast or fair rather than a solemn procession.

Schani Breitwieser's Grave
Photo by Beatrice Schmidt,

Due to the large crowd only family and close friends were admitted into the church in Meidling. A quartett from Vienna Opera is said to have sung. Thousands waited outside.

The situation at Meidling cemetary was no different. The grave was buried in flowers. Newspapers reported eight-thousand people, other estimates say that between 20 and 40 thousand attended the funeral. Rumour has it that there were more people there than at the burial of Emperor Francis Joseph three years earlier, yet, that may be one of the many legends.

Johann Breitwieser's grave still exists. After all these years it is not in its original state and other people have taken prevalence on the stone. If you want to pay your respects at Meidling cemetery in Vienna go to division 1 group 1 and light a candle.