Book presentation: Vilma Steindling. Eine jüdische Kommunistin im Widerstand
At the age of eight, Vilma Steindling is placed into the Jewish Orphanage in Vienna’s 19th District. Already politically aware as a 16-year-old, she joins the Communist Youth League. In 1937 she follows her life companion Arthur Kreindel to Paris, since the Communist Party and the Communist Youth League are banned under Schussnig’s regime. Following Nazi Germany’s occupation of France, she gets involved in the so-called “Mädelarbeit” of the French Résistance. She is denunciated and arrested in 1942, deported to Auschwitz and survives the death march to Ravensbrück, where she is liberated by the Swedish Red Cross. Vilma returns to Vienna in the fall of 1945 and first finds out that her companion was murdered in Dachau.
In this book, Ruth Steindling and Claudia Erdheim trace the life journey of a courageous woman who put her life on the line for her ideals and spoke little about the suffering she had endured. Taking very personal approaches, the authors examine the question of which consequences this had for her children and grandchildren.
Ruth Steindling, born in 1950 in Vienna, received a teaching degree in Romance studies from the University of Vienna. She taught at grammar schools in Vienna and Nice, worked as a German lecturer at universities in Brest, Cremona and Milan, as well as a freelance translator in Austria and abroad. She lives in Vienna.
Claudia Erdheim, born in 1945 in Vienna, studied philosophy and logic in Vienna, Munich and Kiel, and taught for many years as a lecturer at the University of Vienna. Since 1984 she has been a freelance writer. She published numerous novels and short stories, as well as volumes of photographs about Russia, Lemberg/Lviv and life in the Galician shtetl. Moreover, she received several prizes and scholarships for her work as an author.
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