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WEDNESDAY, JUN 07 2017, 07:30 PM

Käthe Leichter, née Marianne Katharina Pick, was born 1895 as the second daughter of a liberal upper middle class Jewish family in Vienna. She started rebelling against the conventions of her time early: she joined the progressive Vienna youth movement and was one of the first women to study political sciences. World War I and post-war revolutions radicalized the young scientist and Käthe committed herself with passion to the socialist labor movement. She never had a political mandate but became the first academic worldwide in developing and establishing women’s studies on a large scale at the Vienna Chamber of Labor. Shortly after the “Anschluss” she was arrested by the Gestapo. During her incarceration in solitary confinement she wrote her testimony to the fallen world of the Viennese Jewish middle class, called “Kindheitserinnerungen” (childhood memories), which she dedicated to her two sons Heinz and Franz. In 1939, Käthe Leichter was transported to the concentration camp Ravensbrück. In March 1942 she was murdered in the gas chamber at Bernburg Euthanasia Center.

Helene Maimann’s empathetic filmic portrait is a tale of one of Austria’s greatest female pioneers, recounted by Franz Leichter, former State Senator of New York, historians Jill Lewis, Gabriella Hauch, Veronika Duma, Linda Erker, Elisabeth Klamper and Sabine Plakolm, as well as sociologist Christian Fleck.
Find out more about the film >>>here.

Following the screening of the English version world premiere, a public discussion will be held with director Helene Maimann and Senator Franz Leichter, Käthe’s only surviving child. Welcome by Dr. Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria from 2004 to 2016.

Helene Maimann was born in Vienna, is an Austrian historian, author, filmmaker and exhibition organizer. After studying History, German studies and Philosophy in Vienna she did her doctorate in 1973 about the Austrian Exile. Between 1980 and 1994 she worked as a lecturer and Guest Professor at the universities of Vienna and Salzburg. In the 1980s Maimann managed various exhibitions about Austria’s contemporary history.  From 1991 on she started working as an editor, author, radio- and filmmaker for the ORF. In addition, she published numerous articles and books on exile, labor history, history of mentalities and Jewish identities. She specializes namely in biographies, there under on Bruno Kreisky (2011) and the artist Arik Brauer (2012). Since 2008 Maimann has been teaching at Filmacademy Vienna. 

Franz Leichter was born in Vienna in 1930. He came to the United States as a refugee from Nazi Europe in 1940 with his father and brother and served in the New York State Assembly from 1969 to 1974 and the New York State Senate from 1975 to 1998. He lives in New York City.


Käthe Leichter