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Hilda Vitzthum, Biography Papers

Title: Hilda Vitzthum, Biography Papers

Creator: Vitzthum, Hilda, 1902-

Dates: 1980s

Quantity: 1 box (0.2 linear feet)

Collection Number: MS 0045

Language: German, English

Restrictions: None

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Historical Records Statement: Please see our statement on historical records and materials.

Preferred Citation: Hilda Vitzthum, Biography Papers (MS 0045). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.


Born near the city of Salzburg in the Upper Austrian Hausruck district in 1902, Hilda Vitzthum and her family experienced the repercussions of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Vitzthum joined the Communist Party at an early age and eventually emigrated to the Soviet Union. She married a Russian engineer named Georgi Shcherbatov, who assisted in the construction of a large metallurgical complex at Kuznetsk in Siberia. Soon after the completion of the metal works at Kuznetsk, Josef Stalin labeled Vitzthum and her husband "enemies of the people." She was separated from her children, and her husband was arrested. Sent to a forced labor camp, Vitzthum survived eight years in the camp before finally being released. Both of her daughters had died while she was incarcerated. Vitzthum worked in the Soviet Union for two more years before she received permission to return to Austria with her one surviving son.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of the German typescript of Hilda Vitzthum's biography as well as an English translation of the first chapter. Also included in the collection are publication announcements for her biography and a few brief biographical sketches. Vitzthum's biography describes her experiences as a communist living in both Austria and the Soviet Union and her struggle to survive eight years in a forced labor camp in Siberia.


Vitzthum, Hilda, 1902-

Communists -- Austria -- Biography

Political prisoners -- Soviet Union -- Biography

Container List: Box 1. Folder 1. "Mit den Wurzeln Austrotten" Box 1. Folder 2. Translation, "Mit den Wurzeln Austrotten," chapter 1 Box 1. Folder 3. Biographical sketches Box 1. Folder 4. Publication announcements
Related Material and Resources: Vitzthum, Hilda. Mit der Wurzel Ausrotten: Erinnerungen einer Ehemaligen Kommunistin. München: E. Vögel, 1984. _____________. Torn Out by the Roots: the Recollections of a Former Communist. Translated with an introduction and notes by Paul Schach. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, c1993.

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