March 1938 marked the start of a race against time for Austrian Jews. Some Viennese Jewish women sought to escape through marriages of convenience with foreign citizens. The marriages were concluded on paper, be it out of solidarity or against payment, to enable these women to reach a country where Jews were not (yet) persecuted. Women who had already left Austria entered into marriages of convenience so as to avoid being stateless or in order to acquire a work permit. Twelve women, including Stella Kadmon and Alma Rosé, tell their different stories and describe the risks and opportunities offered by a marriage of convenience as a survival strategy—with varying results. The theater director Stella Kadmon found refuge in Palestine, while the violinist Alma Rosé was killed in Auschwitz. Very few women talked about their marriages afterwards.
Curators: Sabine Bergler and Irene Messinger
Design: Gabu Heindl and Team/Toledo i Dertschei
Photo (c) Österreichische Exilbibliothek