In November, Maria Gabrielsen was in Vienna at the invitation of the ESRA Psychosocial Health Center and Jewish Welcome Service to talk about her life at the Jewish Museum. Gabrielsen is one of the “Schwarz children” who were denounced by their mother and deported by the Nazis to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. She and her six siblings survived the Holocaust. She wrote about her experiences in the book “Angezeigt von Mama – Die Geschichte einer Denunziation” (Metropol Verlag).
Maria Gabrielsen was born in Vienna in 1934, one of seven children of the Jewish tailor Michael Schwarz and his wife, Rosa. Rosa had converted to Judaism before the wedding. After the “Anschluss” (Annexation), she began a relationship with a National Socialist and took advantage of this to “get rid of” first her husband and then her children in 1943. Michael Schwarz was murdered in Auschwitz and the children were deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
Miraculously, all seven survived and returned to Vienna after the liberation. The harrowing case of the “Schwarz children” and their father made headlines after the war and led to one of the most sensational denunciation trials under the War Crimes Act.
Maria was taken in by a foster family in Norway in 1947, later had her own family there, and published her story as a book, which also appeared in German in 2018. She has been active as a contemporary witness in schools for many years.
In November, Maria Gabrielsen visited Vienna with her family at the invitation of ESRA and the JWS, among other things to talk about her life at the Jewish Museum Vienna. The fully booked event at the JMV was made possible by the cooperation and support of ESRA, the Jewish Welcome Service, erinnern.at, the Jewish Museum Vienna, the Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG), ORF, the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, and the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria.