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Most Recent Findings on the Life and Work of Elena Dabcovich-Eberwein

Žarko Muljačić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 155 Kb

str. 247-263

preuzimanja: 859



Elena Dabcovich-Eberwein (b. 1899, Istanbul - d. 1970, Munich), is a descendant of the Dabcovich family from PaštroviEi, Montenegro. A certain Niko Vidov Dabković, most likely her grandfather, left Budva for Istanbul and in 1855 founded a shipping agency in the then capital of the Ottoman Empire. It was there that she completed her primary and secondary education at Austro- Hungarian and German schools (her mother was German), having graduated from High School in Darmstadt in 1919. Elena studied in Munich and in Vienna where in 1925 she received her doctor’s degree with a thesis on Francis Jammes. Her work would have remained practically unkown had it not been for the publishing of the collected papers in 1989 on the German and Austrian Romanists persecuted during Nazism. The paucity of information may be accounted by the fact that almost all documentary evidence related to her had been destroyed in Germany during the Second World War, while that in Turkey is hardly accessible. In addition, the number of her published writings is quite modest. Her early career of an assistant at the Romanist Institute in Cologne (1932- 1937) was marked by persecution, for she stood openly against racism and anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. In the period 1937-1945 she was mainly jobless or held poorly paid posts outside lecturing. Following the downfall of the Third Reich, she was made professor (extraordinaria) at Technische Universität of West Berlin. On the occasion of Winterfest in 1932, she declared herself proud of ≈having the blood of five different nations flow through her veins«, a most brave statement to be made at the time. This article sheds new light not only on her schooling in Istanbul, but also on an extra course of Caucasian studies which she took in Vienna. There is reason to assume that someone in her family (grandmother or stepmother) spoke one of the Caucasian languages but also 263 Ž. Muljačić, Novi podaci o romanistici Eleni Eberwein-Dabcovich Italian, as Elena always signed herself in Italian transcription. Unfortunately, not a single document stating Elena Dabcovich’s nationality has been traced, leaving us to speculate on her Montenegrin, Croatian, Italian, German, or less likely, Turkish identity.

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