Dr. jur. Ernst Schlomo Josef Pollatschek

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Dr. jur. Ernst Schlomo Josef Pollatschek

Also Known As: "Ernesto", "Ernsti"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Vienna-18, Austria
Death: August 28, 1989 (80)
Cattolica, Italy (Lymph-glands leukemia)
Place of Burial: ZF, Vienna, Austria (after being exhumed from the Cattolica cemetery, buried with his father)
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. jur. Moritz Pollatschek and Dora Pollatschek (Larisch)
Partner of <private> Eckel

Occupation: Dr. of Law
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Dr. jur. Ernst Schlomo Josef Pollatschek

Ernst Pollatschek was born in Vienna in 1909, the only child of Dora and Moritz. In 1927 he graduated from one of the best "Realgymnasiums" in Vienna, in which he studied several languages. In 1932 he graduated from lawschool with a Doctorate of Law. It had been his father's wish that he, too, become a lawyer.

He grew up in an intellectual home, surrounded by exquisite classical artefacts. He was very musical and learned to play the violin.

His grandmother Leni died in 1933 and his father in 1935, and Ernst lived alone with his bewidowed mother. Because of the political situation he could not work in his profession. So, in order to help his mother, he gave private lessons to middle school pupils, first in their homes and later, when he could not afford the bus fare, at his home. Thanks to his education, his knowledge of languages and math he soon acquired quite a lot of pupils (Walter Grab was one of them!). He was an excellent tutor. During his years in Yugoslavia and Italy he benefited from this experience. Tutoring became one of his main sources of income.

After the "Anschluss", 1938.

Ernst was an anti-Zionist and did not want to immigrate to Palestine like his favourite cousin, Rudolf Larisch. He hesitated about leaving his mother and hoped to find refuge in the Netherlands or Belgium with her, but, in spite of his efforts, was unable to arrange it (one of the reasons was lack of funds).

He figured in the lists of the second transport from Vienna to Nisko in late 1939. Forty hours before departure he fled to Yugoslavia. For the duration of WWII he functioned with an expired German passport that had been delivered to him by a German major in occupied Yugoslavia. He traveled to Italy, staying for a while in the Republic of San Marino.

Die Kunst des Ueberlebens: Erinnerungen eines Wiener Juden 1938-1945", ("the Art of Survival: Memoirs of a Viennese Jew")

In his book, edited and published in 1998, 10 years after his death, by his friend Prof. Walter Grab (from Israel, who was one of his pupils in Vienna, and a life-long friend) and Elfie Eckel, Ernst's year- long friend (from Bochum, Germany), he relates how he managed to survive by inventing creative ways to hide and earn money.

Ernst Pollatschek saved his life. With just a small suitcase he fled from Austria. His memoirs are a unique document. In his escape to Yugoslavia he tells about the tolerance that prevailed at the time in Bosnia between Jews, Christian Croats, Orthodox Serbs, Muslims and Gypsies.

He was lucky, because in the NS-Regime there were not only murderers, but also human beings in uniform. Such an SS soldier helped him cross the border to Yugoslavia. Later, a German major gave him a life-saving document, in which he wrote "German Citizen" instead of "Jew".

He arrived in Italy, where he experienced the local fascist regime. He settled in Cattolica, and lived there until his death in 1989, at the age of 80. He was taken to Vienna and reburied at his late father's grave on September 21st, 1989. It had been his wish.

He used to cover his head with a kind of hat, to hide a hole in his skull on his upper forehead. This injury was caused by an accident: on January 17, 1945, he was hit by a truck of the Canadian forces in Italy and spent about a year in hospitals, both in Rome and in Cattolica.

He made his living in the tourist business, and was instrumental in turning Cattolica, a small fishing village on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, into a popular tourist destination. His work often took him to Europe, where he arranged for tourist packages and agencies. For a while he even owned a hotel in Venice (in the Lido).

Another writing of Dr. Ernst Pollatschek was titled: "Die Wahrheit ueber das Arbeiterparadies. Dokumente und Tatsachenberichte ueber die soziale und rechtliche Lage der Arbeitnehmer in den Oststaaten". It appeared in volume 2 of "Spiegel der Gegenwart", published in Zuerich in 1948 (Veritas Verlag).

Article from La Reppublica:


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Dr. jur. Ernst Schlomo Josef Pollatschek's Timeline

July 17, 1909
Vienna-18, Austria

Year 1909
Numerative 1315
Code 1
Volume Wien
Last Name Pollatschek
First Name Ernst
Parents/Annotation Moriz Dr./


August 28, 1989
Age 80
Cattolica, Italy
September 21, 1989
Age 80
ZF, Vienna, Austria (after being exhumed from the Cattolica cemetery, buried with his father)
- 1932
Vienna, Austria
- 1927
Vienna, Austria