21. September 2022
Vienna and the World

How a museum visit brought two old friends back together after almost 50 years

by Adina Seeger
© Jüdisches Museum Wien
At a children’s birthday party in autumn 2021, I meet Christina Fadler, who tells me that she recently visited the Jewish Museum Vienna with her mother, Christel Fadler. During their tour of the permanent exhibition at Museum Dorotheergasse, they also take a look at the digital presentation of Margit Dobronyi's photographic archive. Numerous photos are presented here on several screens. Christel Fadler discovers a photo and says to her daughter: “I know her!”

The person Christel Fadler recognizes is her childhood friend Dorothea Esther Weiss. The photo shows Dorothea Weiss at her wedding to Alexander Burstyn in the Vienna City Temple in 1971. After the wedding and the birth of their first son in 1972, Dorothea and her husband Alexander emigrate to Canada – the two friends lose touch.

After visiting the Jewish Museum Vienna and after nearly 50 years, Christel Fadler begins looking for her friend Dorothea Burstyn – and finds her during an internet search. The two get into contact with each other and since then are friends once again.

In August 2022, Dorothea Burstyn visits Vienna with her granddaughter Rebecca, also to see her friend Christel Fadler again. Together, Dorothea Burstyn, with her granddaughter Rebecca, and Christel Fadler, accompanied by her daughter Christina Fadler, pay a visit to the Jewish Museum Vienna, where my colleague Julia Windegger and I welcome them.

Naturally, we also talked about Margit Dobronyi and her photo archive, which is so important for the Jewish community in Vienna.

© Jüdisches Museum Wien
Dorothea Weiss at her wedding to Alexander Burstyn
Vienna City Temple, 1971
© Jüdisches Museum Wien
From left to right: Christel Fadler, Dorothea Burstyn