Militär und Giftmörder (1880-1945). Autograph letter signed ("Adolf Hofrichter"). Möllersdorf. 11.03.1919. 2 SS. auf Doppelblatt. 4to. Beiliegend Vorderseite des eigenh. adressierten Umschlags (Vermerk "Eigenhändig!").
$ 2,694 / 2.500 €
To Eduard Rosin in Vienna, head of the freight forwarding firm Rosin & Knauer, applying for a job: "Dear Sir! Lt.-Col. Tlamsa was so good to let me know how kindly and graciously you had taken an interest in me, and his words inspire me with the courage to address you thus. You are, of course, aware of my fate, which the papers reported so extensively, albeit falsely, and when you learn the truth about what secret military courts have perpetrated against me, you will, perhaps, feel more than pity for me.
About this as well as about my skills and achievements, Lt.-Col. Tlamsa will possibly be able to give you more details. And so I would beg you to permit me, trusting in your goodness, to ask you most respectfully whether you could not find it in your noble and pitying heart to provide me with an adequate position which might finally deliver me from hunger and enable me to lead a life, to give me a future. I am destitute. For weeks I wandered the streets of Vienna, in starvation and want, in vain seeking a job. Shying from human company, I retired here, where the kindness of Lt.-Col. Tlamsa saved me from the worst. But I should wish to put my skills to use, to work, as I was wont, so as again to make a home for myself. If you, dear Sir, could help me through the kindness of your heart, how grateful would I be to you all my life! My work would give proof of my gratitude. I did not dare apply in person. Forgive the boldness of these lines and let me hope for a favourable response [...]" (transl.). - Light brownstaining; insignificant tears to folds; second leaf annotated "Hofrichter" in blue ballpoint. - In 1909, the Austrian lieutenant Hofrichter had been arrested on suspicion of having anonymously sent cyanide capsules, camouflaged as potency-enhancing drugs, to twelve higher-ranking officers, in hopes of thereby being promoted to the general staff himself. One officer died after swallowing the capsule. After a sensational court-martial, one of the "causes célèbres" of the fading monarchy, Hofrichter made a confession that he subsequently retracted. Sentenced to 20 years of prison for murder, he was incarcerated at the military correctional facility at Möllersdorf. After the end of the monarchy he was granted an amnesty but was again arrested in May 1919 and moved back into his old cell before receiving a formal pardon in September. He took the name "Adolf Richter", unsuccessfully tried to join the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War, and died in Vienna during the last days of the year 1945..