Austria: In memory of Käthe Sasso – Relentless antifascist and resistance fighter

Hereby we publish an unofficial translation of an article published in the Austrian Rote Fahne.

On 14 April, 2024, at the age of 98 years, Kâthe Sasso, resistance fighter, passed away, and with it, one of the last witnesses of the time of the communist resistance in Austria.

Being Burgenland-Croatian, Käthe Sasso was already politicized when she was very young, as her parents were active in the communist resistance after the February Uprising 1934 and fought against Austrofascism and Nazi-Fascism. Since being a young girl, Käthe Sasso already fought for an independent and free Austria. As part of a communist resistance group, she supported relatives of executed resistance combatants with food and agitated with leaflets against Nazi-Fascism. As many others, she felt in the hands of the Gestapo, and after some time of confinement in Austria she was deported to the concentration camp in Ravensbrück. She could escape from the so-called Death March from the concentration camp towards Bergen-Belsen with a friend. Both could managed to return to Vienna, freed by the heroic Red Army.

Not only her resistance against Austrofascism, but especially against the occupation of Austria by Nazi-Fascism must be uphold. Since the 90’s Käthe Sasso fought for building up a memory culture and respect for these resistance fighters, who fought and died for a free, independent and democratic Austria. It is foremost to Käthe Sasso efforts that the memorial “Gruppe 40” has been erected at the Vienna’s central cemetery.

Her firmness and relentless efforts for a free, independent and antifascist Austria could also be found in the book “The sky is blue. Maybe.1 – Women in the resistance in Austria, 1938-1945”. In her memoirs she tells how the resistance struggle was for her: “They will detain me, but I won’t snitch, and if they beat me to death, I will never ever betray anyone. I did not regret, I think even if there would have been the possibility to flee or run away – I wouldn’t have done it. I was convinced, when others must stand it, then I can also stand it.”

In one of her last public appearances, Käthe Sasso insistently said: “Bring it to the next generations, to be able to warn on Fascism, when we cannot speak anymore.”

The Käthe Sasso’s life and deeds are a symbol to all the revolutionary, antifascist and democrat forces to draw the lessons of the resistance struggle and apply them today. As Käthe Sasso relentlessly pointed out, it is necessary to unite and struggle together to stop the ever enlarging anti-democratic and reactionary attacks by the rulers.

Käthe Sasso’s message – A cry for the struggle for a free and democratic Austria

1 The book’s original title is in German: “Der Himmel ist blau. Kann sein. – Frauen im Widerstand Österreich 1938-1945”.

Previous post New strikes at the universities of Brazil
Next post Turkey: Ünal Yiğit, Imprisoned Partisan, sentenced to 35 years in prison