The living room of the Glück family is a completely normal Viennese living room from the 1920s, and then again not, since while most of the furniture belonging to the Jews of Vienna was “aryanized” after 1938, the Glück family’s ended up in New York in 1939.
The exhibition relates the history of a Jewish furrier family, from its arrival in Vienna from the north-eastern crown lands around 1900 to its escape after the annexation of Austria in 1938 to France and the USA. Henry (Heinz) Glück, who donated this furniture to the Jewish Museum Vienna two years ago, was born in Vienna in 1934. His father Erwin escaped from Vienna in 1938 with the family’s furniture, initially to Paris. He arrived a while later with his brother in New York, where they once again opened a furrier’s workshop on 7th Avenue in the garment district. Henry and his mother Lily (née Greif) were unable to get away. Lily was deported and murdered in Auschwitz after a police raid in Nice in August 1942. Henry found refuge for a while in a monastery and was hidden from 1943 by a Catholic family in Aix-en-Provence.
The apartment and living room furniture in New York were given up in 2012 following the death of Erwin and his second wife Herta Kleeblatt Glück. The Jewish Museum Vienna is celebrating the return of this Viennese living room from New York with a very personal exhibition about living but also about escape and migration in the twentieth century.
Curator: Adina Seeger