Kulka, Adele

Adele Kulka


13 May 1871 Fulnek, Moravia – 11 April 1942 Theresienstadt ghetto / Terezín


Adele Kulka was born in Fulnek, Moravia, as the fourth of six children of Leopold Kulka (1838–1909) and Charlotte Kulka, née Scheuer (died 1892). She remained unmarried and childless. To provide her with financial security her father established a marriage trousseau foundation in the last year of his life. Like her siblings, she spent the First World War in Strohgasse in Vienna's 3rd district. After the death of her brother Richard Kulka in 1931 she moved into his apartment in Paracelsusgasse, also in the 3rd district. She inherited one-third of his assets and an art collection of around fifty paintings. Among them was a portrait of the artist August von Pettenkofen painted in 1849 by Wilhelm Richter, which Richard Kulka bequeathed to the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien (Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna). As the Academy refused the bequest as inappropriate for its collection, the picture remained the property of Adele Kulka. After the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, she declared her assets in detail in accordance with the Verordnung über die Anmeldung des Vermögens von Juden (Regulation on the Declaration of Jewish Assets) of 26 April 1938. Otto Reich, director of the library at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, valued the art collection at 3,570 Reichsmarks. In September 1938 Adele Kulka, who was planning to flee to Czechoslovakia with her younger sister Valerie Heissfeld, applied to the Zentralstelle für Denkmalschutz (Central Monument Protection Authority) for permission to export the pictures. Authorization was granted for the entire collection except for the above-mentioned painting by Richter. All of the paintings remained in storage with Spedition Eger & Co. in Vienna's 2nd district until they were seized by the Gestapo in December 1940. They were subsequently disposed of by Vugesta. Only the whereabouts of the Pettenkofen portrait by Richter are known today. It is in the Wien Museum and is the object of provenance research.

In January 1939 Adele Kulka lived in Brno, from where she was deported to Theresienstadt on 29 March 1942 and died there two weeks later. Just two days afterwards, her sister Valerie Heissfeld also perished in Theresienstadt.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Sophie Lillie, Was einmal war. Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens (= Bibliothek des Raubes 8), Wien 2003.

Anita Stelzl-Gallian, Für immer verloren. Der Sammler Richard Kulka und die Familiensammlung Heißfeld-Kulka, in: Eva Blimlinger/Heinz Schödl (Hg.), Die Praxis des Sammelns. Personen und Institutionen im Fokus der Provenienzforschung (= Schriftenreihe der Kommission für Provenienzforschung 5), Wien-Köln-Weimar 2014, 201–219, URL: doi.org/10.7767/boehlau.9783205793564.201.

Gabriele Winter, Wilhelm Richter (1824–1892). Ein vergessener Maler des 19. Jahrhunderts. Leben und Werk, Diplomarbeit Universität Wien 2003.


BDA-Ausfuhr, Zl. 5975/38, Adele Kulka.
BDA-Archiv, Restitutionsmaterialien, K. 39/3, PM Adele Kulka.

DÖW, Shoah-Opfer-Datenbank, Adele Kulka.

Archiv der IKG Wien, Matriken, Adele Kulka.

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, FLD, Zl. 8418, K. 375, Adele Kulka.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, Abwicklungsstelle der Vermögensverkehrsstelle, Vugesta-Geschäftsbücher, Bd. 2, 814, Adele Kulka.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, VA 21201.

UAAbKW, Einlaufbuch 16/1922.

WStLA, Historische Wiener Meldeunterlagen, Meldeauskunft Adele Kulka.
WStLA, Verlassenschaftsakten, GZ.6A 1068/31 Richard Kulka; GZ. I60/26 Alfred Kulka; GZ. 21P 21/40 Leopold Kulka.