Maria and other German-speaking women of influence

14 Aug

News of the deaths of both Maria and Robert Steinberg only reached us this week:




I am so sad that I didn’t know about Maria’s passing last year when it happened.  She was my wonderful volunteer at the Rifkind from the time she was 82 until she was 86! She had such an interesting and historically significant life story, and I can’t find any but the briefest of obituaries for her.  I keep thinking that her story needs to be told, so I am going to try and tell as much of it as I know.

This decision also made me remember the other great women in my life whose stories have also never been told. I realized that there are at least two more of them and they are both from my German-speaking life:  Frau Irmgard Rexroth-Kern, a journalist and Wellesley graduate who I met while on my Fulbright in Darmstadt in 1973-74; and Fr. Dr. Anna von Spitzmüller, the wonderful art history teacher who taught us in Vienna on my Junior Year Abroad in 1969-70.  The stories of these three women serve as emotional mirrors to the amazing changes and tumultuous history of the 20th century.

I’m going to compile as much information as I can about each of these women who have made such an impact on my life. Their stories tell of the hardships, struggles, and victories of intellectual women in this era. I can’t guarantee that I will be comprehensive or even correct in what details I can recount, but I can present the impressions they made on me.

More to come!



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