Ihr Ferien-Resort in St. Jakob im Defereggental, Osttirol
• Familie Heinzle

Unterrotte 60 | A-9963 St. Jakob i. D.

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Erich Heinzle

Born 27.09.1920 in Lustenau/Vbg. Attended elementary school in Lustenau and the Josefinum in Volders. Attended 4 grades at the high school in Leopoldinum in Hall. Then – due to his parents' divorce – entered trade school in Lustenau.

Employed in his mother's business, then – from 2.12.1938 - voluntary military service which, due to the war, did not end until 1945, after a brief period as a prisoner of war. During the war, completed officer cadet training at the military academy in Wiener Neustadt. As a lieutenant, took over a company command.

Deployed in Poland, Norway, Finland.
On 17 October 1945, released from captivity which had begun on May 8.

His most significant service was spent with Geb. Jägerregiment 136.
During the war, he met his wife, Mrs. Thusnelda. This - but also due to his having been temporarily assigned to the Waffen SS – was the reason why, after his release - he settled down in St. Jakob.

There he initially helped out at his parents-in-law's business (farm and guesthouse), until, in 1947, he decided to open a textile shop, which he ran at the house of Josef Schett (by the bridge) from 1947 until 1952.
In 1951/52, he built the first house, into which he also moved his original business. In 1961, he expanded the premises, which had also been a general store since 1952.

In 1964, he was selected as head of the lift company in St. Jakob. A position he held until he went into retirement in 1986. In 1965, he became chairman of the tourist office, a position he also held for 22 years. From 1963 until 1974, he was a member of the town council: from 1968 until 1971, he was deputy mayor. He was always a member of the ÖVP party. He also served for 10 years as the head of the St. Jakob business federation.

In 1976, he initiated a collaboration with the Antholzertal, including founding of the Defereggen-Antholzertal Tourism Association, which was finally dissolved in 1998 due to political reasons, even though this association had demonstrated enormous successes for tourism in both valleys.

The rapid boom in tourism was the reason why, in 1977, he had to decide whether to expand the building of his home and business, or to begin construction of a new one.
After a long planning phase, the new building was begun in late autumn, and was completed in December 1978. After completion, the "old house" was demolished.

Whilst the integration of a snack bar was initially planned for the new building, a shop for textiles and folkwear was established in its place.
Aside from the shops and the private apartments, 11 apartments were created for holidaymakers.

During Andreas Hofer Memorial Year in 1984, all of Tyrol's communities were called upon to create something lasting. This resulted in the erection of a memorial relief atop the Staller Sattel, which he also initiated, as well as the founding of a company of ceremonial militia in St. Jakob. The deepening of personal relationships between Defereggen- and Antholzertal valleys continued to be a focus of his.

In 1994, another major investment in the business proved necessary, since two main competitors, Troger and Passler, opened up their own grocery stores.
In 1997, he was able to host a Max Planck Week in St. Jakob.

The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the death of the Nobel Prize winner, who had spent many vacation weeks in St. Jakob from 1939 to 1943 (at Gasthof Kröll). This event, organized in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, proved a great success.

At the beginning of 2000, he handed over the business premises to his son, Dieter, who has run the SPAR supermarket since that time as an independent SPAR franchisee. Erich Heinzle received the Austrian Federation of Industry's Medal of Honor in Gold, while the Province of Tyrol awarded him the Order of Merit.

A&O Österreich awarded him the Ring of Honor. In 1981, he was given the professional title of Kommerzialrat. In 1990, the Borough of St. Jakob awarded him Honorary Citizenship. He also received the Silver Medal of Honor from the Tyrol Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Silver Order of Merit from the Association of South Tyrolean Militia Companies.

Honorary membership in the East Tyrol Tourism Association, which he had chaired for 4 years, was awarded to him in 1989.
He was also named Honorary Chairman of the Tourist Office and, in 1988 - nominated by the Max Planck Society – he received the Golden Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria.