The exhibition traces the journey of Ruth Maier (1920-1942), a young diarist who perished in the Holocaust. It is jointly presented by the Austrian Embassy and the Royal Norwegian Embassy and will be on view from April 5 through July 5, 2019, in the Atrium of the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Through photographs and diary extracts, this exhibition tells the story of the Jewish girl Ruth Maier, born in Vienna in 1920. Ruth began keeping a diary when she turned thirteen. She recorded her everyday life and the increasing persecution of Jews in Austria following the Anschluss in 1938. After witnessing the violent antisemitism of the Kristallnacht Pogrom, Ruth found refuge in Norway while the rest of her family escaped to Great Britain. She completed her education and continued to write in her newly acquired language, Norwegian. However, her newfound safety did not last: In 1942, Ruth was arrested and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she was murdered on arrival.
Her friend, the Norwegian poet Gunvor Hofmo preserved her writings. Since 2014, the diaries of Ruth Maier have been part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, secured at the Norwegian Centre for Holocaust and Minority Studies.
The story of Ruth Maier is a reminder of the immeasurable loss to the world by the unrealized potential of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during the Holocaust.
The exhibition titled „Lives Cut Short – Seeking Refuge During the Holocaust: The Fate of Ruth Maier“ 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 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