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  ...

Herta Orenstein (später Orenski, geb. Bendetz)

  • Born: 09-09-1912
  • Faculty: Faculty of Philosophy
  • Category: expelled student

Herta ORENSTEIN (later: ORENSKI, nee BENDETZ), born on September 9th, 1912 in Bielitz/Austro-Hungaria[Bielsko-Biała/Poland] wasn't enrolled at the Philosophical School any more in 1938, but was preparing for the final exams ('Rigorosen'). She registered for the final exams in Musicology on June 18th, 1937, and passed the first 'Rigorosum' on July 5th, 1937. Her dissertation 'Die Refrainformen im Chansonnier de l‘Arsenal (Paris, Bibl. ars 5198). Ein Beitrag zur Formenlehre der Troubadour- und Trouvère-Melodien' was accepted on June 21st, 1937, and she also passed the second 'Rigorosum' on May 18th, 1938. She could finally finish her studies and graduated on July 21st, 1938, but only with the discriminating ceremony of a 'Nichtarierpromotion', which included at the same time that she was banned from her profession.

Before her promotion in musicology Herta Orenstein, nee Bendetz was yet married to the microbiologist Dr. Stephan W. Orenstein/Orenski (son of Dr. Oskar Bruno Orenstein (1881-1916), owner of a large estate and a wellknown composer and conductor), emigrated to Romania and lived in Bukarest [Bucuresti]. 1940 her son Peter was born and in July 1960 she emigrated with her husband and their son to the USA. Soon she died on March 23, 1961 in New York.

Her husband became a colleague at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research Yonkers, NY to Prof. Karl Maramorosch, but died soon on July 4, 1966.

Her son Dr. Peter J. Orenski studied at Columbia University New York, became a chemist and after retirement started the flag-company TME in New Milford (CT/USA) and he did not stop until his death on August 13, 2016.

Herta Orensteins dissertation from 1937 was published in 1970 as volume 19 of musicological studies by Brooklyn, N.Y. Institute of Mediaeval Music. 

Lit.: Archive of the University of Vienna, "Rigorosenprotokoll" Philosophical School,; information from Sophie Rault, Brittany/France 2018.

Herbert Posch


Herta Orenstein (Orenski, nee Bendetz), 'Nichtarierpromotion' on July 21st, 1938, 2840 'Promotionsprotokoll' Philosophical School 1931-1941, Photo: Herbert Posch, (c) Archiv Universität WienHerta Orenstein (Orenski, nee Bende...
CV Herta Orenski, 1937, Rigorosenfile, (c) University of ViennaCV Herta Orenski, 1937, Rigorosenfi...
CV Herta Orenski, 1937, Rigorosenfile, (c) University of ViennaCV Herta Orenski, 1937, Rigorosenfi...

zuletzt aktualisiert am 22.02.2018

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