Thousands of fans said goodbye to musician Willi Resetarits on Saturday.
Despite the constant rain, Ostbahn Kurti fans queued up in front of the mortuary hall 2 of the Vienna Central Cemetery on Saturday to pay their last respects to Willi Resetarits. The popular musician and activist died unexpectedly on April 24 at the age of 73 as a result of falling down a flight of stairs.
As early as 1 p.m., 2,700 visitors were counted who wanted to say goodbye to the popular musician. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen was among the first to offer condolences, as was Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), Minister of Culture Werner Kogler and State Secretary Andrea Mayer (both Greens). Many paid their respects to the deceased by kneeling in front of the coffin, some had brought memorabilia with them for the last course.
“Be a Mensch” was the motto on the party, which was handed out to the mourners at the end – combined with the request: “Anyone who wants to set an example in the spirit of Willi, please consider the Integrationshaus project with a donation.” And for a long time now, fans of Willi Resetarits have been able to say goodbye in an online book of condolences set up by Bestattung Wien. (www.trauerportal.at/cel36-Willi_Resetarits/kondolenzbuch.html) To date, well over 3,500 people have shared their stories and memories of the musician and people.
The family of the artist and activist, who had been active for decades, had decided not to hold a public funeral service. This should be done on a small scale in due course. Then Willi Resetarits will also receive a grave of honor at the central cemetery.
This will be the last act in the life of Willi Resetarits, who was one of the defining figures of the local music scene for many decades and will also remain unforgotten with his social commitment. Born on December 21, 1948 as the son of Burgenland-Croatian parents in Stinatz, he grew up speaking Croatian like his equally prominent brothers Lukas and Peter.
As a musician, he was successful in a wide variety of formations – from the political band Schmetterlinge to the Stubnblues to his successful alter ego Ostbahn-Kurti. At the same time, Resetarits always got involved in social debates and raised his voice when the arena was squatted in 1976, as a co-founder of initiatives such as “Asyl in Not”, “SOS Mitmensch” and as chairman of the association “Projekt Integrationshaus”.