Hedi Politzer (1920— )
Holocaust Survivor, Vienna, Austria
B.S. in Physical Education Miami University, Class of 1942
Images (left to right): Photograph of Oskar and Mizi Politzer in a garden with their two daughters Eva and Hedi, 1921. Photograph of Hedi Politzer skiing, 1937. Photograph of Hedi Politzer and Maurice Galante at Miami University, undated.
Hedi Pope née Politzer was born in Vienna, Austria on March 18, 1920 into an artistic Jewish family with deep roots in Viennese society. Hedi and her older sister, Eva, lived a cultured and secular life in Vienna before Nazi Germany annexed Austria on March 12, 1938. In the wake of increased antisemitism and political violence in Vienna, Hedi’s parents, Oskar and Mizi, sought emigration visas for their daughters to live with extended family in the United States. Around this time, Oskar was arrested on November 9, 1938 as part of a mass-roundup of Jews during Kristallnacht and deported to Dachau. Shortly after his arrest, Hedi and Eva received their visas and sailed to the U.S. on January 11, 1939. Oskar died on January 23, 1939, a few days after Hedi and Eva arrived safely in America. After a short career on Broadway with an Austrian theatre troupe, Hedi attended Miami University on a scholarship and graduated in 1942. She currently lives in Arden, North Carolina surrounded by family.
Hedi’s story is one of ten extraordinary personal journeys of Miami alumni and faculty told in the exhibition, Bearing Witness: The Holocaust and Jewish Experience at Miami University, co-hosted by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives and Hillel at Miami University.
Images 5 courtesy of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives. Images 2, 3, and 4 courtesy of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, via Hedi Pope.