Elisabeth SGALITZER (married: Elizabeth S(GALITZER).-ETTINGHAUSEN), born on August 5th, 1918 in Vienna/Austro-Hungaria (entitled residency ("heimatberechtigt") for Vienna/Austria, Citizenship 1938: Austria), daughter of private lecturer with the title of extraordinary university professor Max Sgalitzer, M.D. (1884–1973, radiologist) and Helene Sgalitzer, née Adler (1890-1972), lived in Vienna's 9th district, Porzellangasse 37. She resigned from the Jewish Community of Vienna in the fall of 1936 and began studying at the University of Vienna. She was enrolled until finally in the spring term 1938 at the Philosophical School in the 2nd year of her studies and took courses in Art History and History.
After the takeover of power of National-Socialism in March 1938 he was forced to quit her studies for racist reason without a chance to graduate. She requested to continue her studies in the context of the 2% Numerus Clausus of Jewish Students, was first allowed to continue for about two months, but finally had to leave the University of Vienna. Her elder sister Gerda Sgalitzer (1913–1961), who studied medicine at the University of Vienna since fall term of 1932/33, could finally finish her studies and graduated on July 21st, 1938, but only with the discriminating ceremony of a "Nichtarierpromotion" and her cousin Kurt Sgalitzer (1915–1941) was forced to leave the University of Vienna in the 5th and last year of his medical studies. Both committed suicide in emigration.
In September 1938 the family fled via Prague to Istanbul/Turkey, where Elisabeth Sgalitzer finished her studies in Art History in 1943. In the same year she emigrated to the USA. She lived in Washington, D. C. and worked at the Department of Byzantine Art at Dumbarton Oaks. In 1945 she married the German art historian Richard Ettinghausen (1906-1979), later professor at the New York University and head of the department of Islamic Art of the Metropolitan Museum New York. In 1967 the family moved to Princeton, NJ where Elizabeth Ettinghausen became an independent scholar and lecturer on Islamic and Byzantine art.
Invited by the Department of Art History Elizabeth S.-Ettinghausen visited Austria and the University of Vienna in the end of May 2009 and gave a lecture on Islamic Art as well as on her experiences at the university in March 1938 and on her further life and career.
The exhibition "Ausgegrenzt, Vertrieben, Ermordet" (January 22nd - May 14th, 2010) at the Department of Art History of the University of Vienna is dedicated to the memory of Elisabeth Sgalitzer and 20 other expelled students of the University of Vienna with a focuse on art history.
Elisabeth Sgalitzer-Ettinghausen passed away on June 12th, 2016 in Princeton, NJ/USA.
Since 2022, she is also honored and remembered at the "Memorial to the Students and Teachers of History Expelled from the University of Vienna 1938-1945".
Lit.: Exhibition "Ausgegrenzt, Vertrieben, Ermordet" 2010; Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Sgalitzer-Ettinghausen, Dumbarton Oaks (2009), obituary of the Society of Friends of Islamic Art and Culture, Munich (2016).
Katharina Kniefacz, Herbert Posch