Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

 This Site  Web

Sidonie Grünwald-Zerkovitz 1852- 1907

Sidonie was born at Tovacov (Tobitschau) in the former Austrian empire in the present Czech Republic where her father was a doctor. She attended school at Holeschau followed by boarding school in Vienna becoming a gifted linguist who spoke Czech, German, Hungarian, French and Italian.

She gained teaching certificates in both Hungarian and French and was employed as a teacher in Budapest. In 1875, she married the grandson of a highly regarded Greek general of the war of independence but the marriage was soon dissolved. She married Leopold Grünwald in 1877, a widower with four children from his first marriage, and bore him two sons and two daughters of her own.

Upon moving to Vienna after her marriage, she took up an appointment as publisher of the German language fashion magazine, La Mode. Ludwig II of Bavaria also became her patron in training for a theatre career, which, however, proved unsuccessful.

Her husband committed suicide in 1890 following bankruptcy, after which she opened a language school in Vienna.

Sidonie began writing poetry at an early age and translated Hungarian and other sources into German. Although she did not participate in the movement for women's independence, she wrote two novels on aspects of feminine society which drew criticism from the conservative authorities at the allegedly loose morality perceived therein and which led to their being banned by the censors.

She died in Vienna.