Letter from Sepp Kerschbaumer to the district chief of the “South Tyrolean People’s Party” in Meran, Dr. Anton Kapfinger, dated May 16, 1959.
In the letter, Kerschbaumer demands that the district chief step down from his office because – in his opinion – he had not sufficiently interiorized the “struggle for existence” of the South Tyroleans and was therefore a greater liability to the cause than an asset.
“To: Dr. Anton Kapfinger
District Chief of the S.V.P. of Meran!
The “Andreas Hofer” celebration held last Sunday in Meran was a truly festive and impressive event as far as the parade of the militiamen groups and the marching bands and the subsequent folk play entitled “Andreas Hofer” were concerned, and the participants gave every sign of appreciating this. Likewise, the people demonstrated great joy and satisfaction over the fact that the ultimatum of the two provincial bishops for which the people had been hoping for so long had been acknowledged. This, too, gave the event an especially celebratory character.
In spite of all of these gratifying facts, I cannot help but draw attention to a very negative aspect of this festive celebration.
It was the non-appearance of the people. I observed everything closely and – to my great regret – must report that people as a whole (apart from the militiamen and resort guests) were entirely absent. In comparison with the extent of the celebration, it was – to state it bluntly – a disgrace. And who else is responsible for this than the district chief? It would have been your duty to assign the local representatives under you with the task of ensuring that people at least in your district attended the festivities in large number. I have also learned that absolutely nothing of the kind had been done. The same is true for the announcements in the print media. I cannot help but have the impression that this was all in keeping at least with your desires – earlier incidents of this nature confirm this.
If you really weren’t aware of the great significance of this event and if you still haven’t come to understand what a people’s struggle means, then I can only tell you that it is high time that you step down from your position as district chief. Only that can prevent the entire district placed in your charge from sliding into the same level of apathy you display. If we South Tyroleans make no further progress in fighting this struggle for existence, then it will be in large measure be because some of our elected representatives have failed to understand – or do not want to understand – the serious nature of this people’s struggle for freedom and justice. If you aren’t willing to fight with us, than you should at least take the necessary consequences.
Frangart, May 16, 1959 (signed) Sepp Kerschbaumer Frangart”