Remembering Ruth Maier

On April 4, 2019 the Embassy of Austria hosted the exhibition opening of “Lives Cut Short – Seeking Refuge During the Holocaust: The Fate of Ruth Maier.” The exhibition tells the story of Ruth Maier (1920-1942), a young diarist who documented her life during the Holocaust in German as well as Norwegian. Born in Vienna, Ruth sought refuge in Norway before she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she was murdered upon arrival at age 22. Through photographs and diary extracts, this exhibition tells the story of the “Austrian-Norwegian Anne Frank”.

The opening night drew more than 130 guests and included remarks by both the Austrian Ambassador, Wolfgang Waldner, and the Norwegian Ambassador, Kåre R. Aas. As a special guest, the embassies welcomed Dr. Ann Altmann, Ph.D., whose father was the cousin of Ruth Maier. Dr. Altman presented aspects of her family story and urged the audience to share this lesser-known aspect of Holocaust history, especially with younger generations.

from left: Austrian Ambassador Waldner, Dr. Ann Altman, Ph.D., Norwegian Ambassador Aas

from left: Austrian Ambassador Waldner, Dr. Ann Altman, Ph.D., Norwegian Ambassador Aas

“By your very presence here this evening, and your support of the Ruth Maier exhibition in our nation’s capital, you demonstrate unequivocally that you understand the tragedy of the Holocaust.” Dr. Altman speaking on the opening night.  Read her full speech here

“By your very presence here this evening, and your support of the Ruth Maier exhibition in our nation’s capital, you demonstrate unequivocally that you understand the tragedy of the Holocaust.” Dr. Altman speaking on the opening night. Read her full speech here

“With this exhibition we pay tribute to a remarkable young person who represents not only the 66.000 Jewish victims from Austria but also the six millions of lives lost in the Holocaust.” Austrian Ambassador Waldner giving his opening remarks.

“With this exhibition we pay tribute to a remarkable young person who represents not only the 66.000 Jewish victims from Austria but also the six millions of lives lost in the Holocaust.” Austrian Ambassador Waldner giving his opening remarks.

“The Holocaust is a dark chapter in Norwegian and European history. We must remember and learn. Tonight’s exhibition will contribute in this respect.” Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas on the exhibition.

“The Holocaust is a dark chapter in Norwegian and European history. We must remember and learn. Tonight’s exhibition will contribute in this respect.” Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas on the exhibition.

Minister Thorsten Eisingerich, Director of the Austrian Press & Information Service, organized the exhibition in conjunction with Austrian Cultural Forum Washington Director Eva Schöfer

Minister Thorsten Eisingerich, Director of the Austrian Press & Information Service, organized the exhibition in conjunction with Austrian Cultural Forum Washington Director Eva Schöfer

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Embassy of Austria and the Royal Norwegian Embassy and was created through international scholarly cooperation between the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, Vienna and the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, Oslo.

The exhibition will be on display until July 5, 2019 at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, D.C. The Atrium is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Photo identification is required to pass through the Embassy’s security screening at 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, D.C., 20008. For further inquiries and to book group tours contact: Julia Assl, Senior Press Officer, 202 895 6764, Julia@austria.org.

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All photos (c) Peter Alunans

More photos of this event on flickr