Felsenstein, Novella

Novella Felsenstein


9 September 1909 Osijek, Slavonia – date and place of death unknown

née Novella Simrisich

Novella Simrisich worked from January 1934 as an unpaid intern in the restoration workshop of the Picture Gallery in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, before becoming a permanent member of staff in August 1938. That year she married the trainee lawyer Theodor Felsenstein, who completed his training in 1941. That same year he joined the police force and after various secondments was transferred in July 1944 to Oslo as a reserve SS judge. Novella Felsenstein worked from January 1940 at the latest in the depot at Gaming but also at Stiebar Castle a few kilometres away, where she was in charge of restoration of the pictures stored there. From February 1944 she was stationed full-time in Gaming. Together with the chief restorer Hajsinek she was responsible in January 1945, for example, for examining the pictures from the Liechtenstein Galerie in Gaming. Shortly before the end of the war, she left Gaming unbidden with her two children and parents and arrived on 17 April in Lauffen, where she claimed a place in the salvage team but was rejected by Victor Luithlen, who headed the team. Her mention that she was related by marriage to Generalreferent Hermann Stuppäck, her sister's husband and cultural adviser to Reichsstatthalter Baldur von Schirach, made no difference. Because of the incident in Gaming and because she was a member of the NSDAP, she was dismissed on 30 April 1945, the dismissal being confirmed by the State Office in December 1945. She herself insisted that she had only applied for membership "but never received a notification of admission, much less or a membership card" and that her departure from Gaming to Lauffen had been an official one at Stuppäck's instigation. She was still in Bad Ischl in March 1946 but nothing is known of her further whereabouts. Her husband Theodor became chairman of the Freiheitlicher Akademikerverband für Österreich founded after the war, and he was also a member of the duelling student fraternities Teutonia Graz and Saxonia Wien.

Author Info

KHM-Archiv, 145/KL/1939 (Volontärin in der Restaurieranstalt); III 369, PA Novella Felsenstein.