Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the "Kristallnacht" [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and  ...

Penina Gottfried

  • Born: 08-15-1897
  • Faculty: Faculty of Philosophy
  • Category: expelled student

Penina GOTTFRIED, born on August 15th, 1897 in Buczacz, Galicia/Austro-Hungarian Empire [later: Poland, today: Butschatsch|Бучач/Ukraine] (citizenship 1938: Poland), had passed her school-leaving examination (Matura) at the State Examination Commission at the Vienna Regional School Board in Vienna's 8th district on October 7th, 1915. Eleven years later she began to study History and Ancient History at the University of Vienna. She lived in Vienna's 2nd district, Taborstrasse 38/27, and was enrolled at the School of Philosophy from the fall term of 1926/27 to the spring term of 1930. She had been in the final examinations stage since 1937.

She had registered for the final examinations ("viva voce") in history on July 23rd, 1937 , and submitted her dissertation "The last years of the reign of Maria Theresia. Conflicts between the Empress Maria Theresa and the Emperor Joseph II in the last years of her co-regency" (supervisors: Wolfgang Bauer and Otto Brunner), which had been approved on September 27th, 1937. She had passed the first viva ("Philosophicum") on December 15th, 1937, After the Anschluss and the seizure of power by National Socialism, she was still able to sit for the second viva on July 1st, 1938, as a foreigner, but had to rehearse with one of the three examiners, Prof. Otto Brunner, and was only able to sit for the repetition on October 26th, 1938, which she then passed. Thus, after a long period of uncertainty, she was able to complete her studies and obtain her doctorate on October 31st, 1938, , but only under numerous symbolic discriminations in the context of a "non-Aryan graduation", and at the same time she was banned from working in the entire German Reich.

She lived with Dr. phil. Abraham Gottfried (1883-1938), insurance agent, and Rebekka Henia Gottfried (1885-1942) in Vienna's 2nd district, Taborstrasse 38/2/3/27.

Abraham Gottfried was arrested after the November pogroms on November 12th, 1938, and was sent with over 2,000 other Jews to the Notarrest in Vienna's 7th district, Kenyongasse 4 (dissolved monastery school). According to a report by the Vienna police chief Karl Vitzthum to Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, one of the SS men on guard there, Otto Seethaler of the SS-Standarte "Der Fuehrer", shot him in the head, allegedly in response to an attempt to grab his bayonet.

Penina and Rebeka Gottfried continued to live in their old apartment until November 1940, then until the end of May 1942 in Vienna's 8th district, Schloesselgasse 26/3/18. Although the National Council of Jewish Women in Baltimore, MD/USA had already made a deposit for both of them to enable them to emigrate to the USA, both were arrested and imprisoned in Vienna's 2nd district, Kleine Sperlgasse 2a and deported on June 16th, 1942 - not to Izbica as originally planned, but directly from the Vienna Aspang train station to the German extermination camp Sobibór in occupied Poland.

Penina Gottfried and Rebekka Gottfried did not survive.

Lit.: Archive of the University of Vienna/enrollment forms ("Nationale") PHIL 1937-1938, final examination file and registry ("Rigorosenakt und -protokoll") PHIL 13707, graduation registry ("Promotionsprotokoll") PHIL 1931-19142 Nr. 2864; Austrian State Archives OeStA, VVST VA 1166; POSCH 2009, 367; Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance|DOEW R 9535 and DOEW database Austrian Victims of the Holocaust; Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)/Einzahlungskarten des Jewish Transmigration Bureau 1939-1954;

Herbert Posch


Penina Gottfried, 'Nichtarierpromotion' on October 31st, 1938, 2864 'Promotionsprotokoll' Philosophical School 1931-1941, Photo: Herbert Posch, (c) Archiv Universität WienPenina Gottfried, 'Nichtarierpromot...

zuletzt aktualisiert am 15.09.2021

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