Born: October 12, 1889, Celje, Slovenia
Died: January 15, 1950, Pečovnik, Slovenia
Books: The death-thorn
Lived: Pečovnik 26, 3000 Celje, Slovenia (46.19918, 15.26535)
Buried: Svetina, Svetina, Obcina Store, Savinjska, Slovenia
Buried alongside: Thea Schreiber Gammelin
Alma Karlin was a Slovene-Austrian traveler, writer, poet, collector, polyglot and theosophist. In 1932, Alma visited Stockholm and gave a talk about her travel on the radio. After the broadcast, painter Thea Schreiber Gammelin contacted her. This meeting evolved into longstanding friendship. Thea introduced Alma to the Nobel Prize for literature, Selma Lagerlöf, who evaluated her work very positively. Alma asked seventeen years younger Thea to become her personal secretary. After the occupation of Yugoslavia, in 1941, Gestapo persecuted Alma and finally arrested her, confiscated all her property and sent her to Dachau. However, she somehow succeeded to escape from the transport and fled to partisans. During the war, Thea joined the partisans too and was severely wounded. After the war, the authorities did not want to have anything to do with the writer who wrote in German. Alma’s and Thea’s spared founds were in foreign banks and therefore inaccessible, so they moved in a small house on the hill Pečovnik above Celje and lived humbly with Thea’s pension, often in shortage. Alma died from cancer in 1950 and was buried in the church's courtyard at Svetina. Thea died 38 years later, and is buried near Alma.
Together from 1932 to 1950: 18 years.
Alma Vilibalda Maximiliana Karlin (October 12, 1889 – January 14, 1950)
Thea Schreiber Gammelin (1906-1988)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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At Pečovnik, at the city outskirts, is the house where Alma M. Karlin resided together with her friend Thea during the final years of her life. The residence at Pečovnik was named a cultural landmark of local importance and hosts the exhibition “The Lonely Voyage of Alma M. Karlin.”
Address: Pečovnik 26, 3000 Celje, Slovenia (46.19918, 15.26535)
Type: Museum (open to public)
Pečovnik is a settlement on the left bank of the Savinja River in the City Municipality of Celje in eastern Slovenia. The area was traditionally part of the Styria region. It is now included with the rest of the municipality in the Savinja Statistical Region. The writer Alma Karlin lived the last years of her life and died in the village. Her house is now a small museum.
Who: Alma Vilibalda Maximiliana Karlin (October 12, 1889 – January 15, 1950) and Thea Schreiber Gammelin (1906-1988)
Alma Karlin was an extraordinary traveller, polyglot, theosophist, and writer from Celje. From 1919 to 1927 she travelled to South and North America, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and various Asian countries and supported herself with odd jobs and writing. Her travel and fiction novels (written in German) became very popular in the 1930s (“The Odyssey of a Lonely Woman” and “The Spell of the South Sea,” a novel in two volumes was reprinted several times in the edition of over 100,000 copies.) During the war her work was banned and in 1944 she joined the Partisans. After the war she lived in a small house in Pečovnik above Celje in straitened circumstances together with her companion Thea Schreiber Gamelin. Alma’s work had been forgotten till the 1960s when ethnologists began to study her collections. Nowadays Alma Karlin inspires artists, feminists, historians as well as the inhabitants of Celje and the general public. Alma Karlin and Thea Schreiber Gammelin are buried together at the church’s courtyard at Svetina. The parish church is dedicated to the Mother of God and belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Celje. It predates its earliest mention in written documents in 1480. Next to the church is a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross. It dates to the late XV century, but was extensively rebuilt after a fire in 1714 that destroyed most of the village.
Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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