Austria - Czech

Sidonie Grünwald-Zerkowitz

       Sidonie was born in Tobitschau, Moravia and studied language and literature.  She spent two years in Budapest and became a professor of History and Languages in Hungary.  While in Budapest, she married the Greek prince, Count Kolokotronis, and moved with him to Athens.  She soon divorced him, however, and then married the Viennese manufacturer, Leopold Grünwald, in Vienna in 1877.  Following his death, she ran a school for languages in Vienna. 

       She caused a major stir as a writer with her naturalistic and erotic works and poetry.  Two of her best known writings were entitled "Gretchen Today" and "Songs of a Mormon Woman."  Both were subsequently banned in Austria.   She was well known for decrying a "double standard of sexual morality" of men who marry women for gain, and then the lot of the wife who finds herself in such a marriage.  

       She not only published lyric poetry, but also wrote paedegogic articles, translated Hungarian writings, wrote a textbook of the history of Hungarian literature, and published a fashion magazine.  

       Sidonie spent nearly all of her adult life in Vienna.  She died at age 55 in Karlsbad, Bohemia, and she is buried in Vienna.  Sidonie had no children.  Her brother, Julius Zerkowitz of Vienna, married Emma Schick in 1881 and one of their daughters - Marie (Zerkowitz) Lazarowicz (b. 1890) - perished in the Nazi death camps.


  • "Austrian Biographic Dictionary 1815-1950." Graz Cologne: Hermann Boehlaus Nachf, 1959. 
  •  [This website writeup is in German.  Be warned that when you have your computer translate it into English, it comes out as somewhat garbled.]

Contributed by Robert Hanscom

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