Wölfl, Maria

Maria Wölfl


28 November 1907 Vienna – 6 May 1987 Vienna

Maria Wölfl began an apprenticeship in 1923 with the Viennese photographer Trude Fleischmann, which she completed in 1925 with the journeyman's examination and attendance at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. She continued to work in Fleischmann's studio until she opened her own studio in summer 1934 at Dapontegasse 5/15 in Vienna's 3rd district. In April 1935 she sat the master's examination and worked as a portrait, still-life and advertising photographer. She took part in the exhibition of the Österreichische Photographen-Genossenschaft in Wolfsberg in 1935 and its exhibition in Baden near Vienna in 1936. Her works were published in illustrated magazines such as Die Bühne, Moderne Welt and Radio-Wien, and she also states that she worked for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, the Österreichisches Museum für Industrie, the Ministry of Commerce and for exhibitions by the federal government. In March 1939 she Aryanized the studio of Franz Löwy at Mariahilfer Straße 17 in Vienna's 6th with the approval of the der Vermögensverkehrsstelle (VVSt) (Property Transaction Office), after she had received permission to take it over in July 1938 from the Staatskommissar für die Privatwirtschaft (State Commissar for Private Industry) and had been noted by the photographers' guild as the "first applicant" for Aryanization of the studio. Wölfl stated in her application to the VVSt for Aryanization that the site was favourable and that, as "one of the few known Aryan photographers" she could "demonstrate her knowledge to the public in a favourable location and also make financial capital out of it". In the same letter to the VVSt she accused Jewish photographers of "shady" business practices.

In 1948 Franz Löwy applied to the Landesgericht (provincial court) in Vienna for restitution from Maria Wölfl, now married Borik. The application resulted in October 1948 in a settlement between Löwy and Wölfl, in which she was obliged to make a payment and return some photo equipment. In her registration of expropriated assets in 1946, she had tried to secretly reverse the Aryanization by stating that Löwy's studio had declared bankruptcy, accusing the owner of "moving abroad one day without warning" and without giving her the opportunity "to reach any kind of agreement". Wölfl claimed to have been an opponent of the Nazi regime and to have Aryanized Löwy's studio in an attempt to save it from being seized by the Nazis. After the war she continued to work until the late 1950s as an architectural and industrial photographer.


From the project Durch das NS-Regime aus Österreich vertriebene und ermordete Fotografinnen und Fotografen und der Verbleib ihrer fotografischen Sammlungen (Subsidized by the National Fund of the Republic of Austria. Conducted by Walter Mentzel).

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Josef A. Detoni, Fachausstellung in Baden, in: Allgemeine Photographische Zeitung 18 (1936) 11, 158–162, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno-plus?aid=phz&datum=1936&page=166 (3.12.2020).

N. N., Prämiierung von Ausstellern bei der Verbandsausstellung 1935, in: Allgemeine Photographische Zeitung 17 (1935) 6/7, 70, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno-plus?aid=phz&datum=1935&page=98 (3.12.2020).


OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, Gewerbe, 1189, Franz Löwy.

WStLA, M.Abt. 119, A41, VEAV 905, 6. Bez., Franz Löwy.