A colleague of mine who works for the Vienna City Government just verified that the graves of Johann Strauss, Jr. and Johannes Brahms were opened in both 2008 and 2012. The teeth of these composers were missing in both instances.
The governmental department that oversees the cemeteries made a report to the Vienna District Attorney’s office in 2008, but the robbery was not pursued further because the Statute of Limitations had expired. The department contacted the DA’s office again this year, and the DA is considering the matter at this time.
There has been lots of press coverage saying that the Cemeteries have been inactive, but the Cemeteries stress that they have been active with this situation.
I emailed the self-reported grave robber, Mr. Ondrej Jajcaj, on Tuesday to ask him some simple questions, but he has not responded to my email. Here are my emailed questions to him:
- Ich habe einige Frangen. Wann haben Sie die Zahne Brahms und Strauss gestehlen? Welche Jahr? (When did you steal the teeth of Brahms and Strauss? What year?)
- Die Sterne oben die Grufte sind sehr schwer. Wie offnen Sie die Grufte? (The stones on top of the graves are very heavy. How did you open the graves?)
- Wer war ihr Vater? War er im Anschluss? War er im Konzentrationslager? (Who was your father? Was he in the Anschluss? Was he in a concentration camp?)
- Wo wohnen sie jetzt? Czech, Slovakian? (Where do you live now? Czech Republic, Slovakia?)
I will continue to post updates as I know them.