Lazarsfeld #austria-czech

Ruth Coman <ruth.coman@...>

Ann Jensen wrote in connection with her LAZARSFELD family "I wonder if
anyone can shed further light on the connections between some of these
people and events."

I don't know about the older generation of LAZARSFELDs or the events
described, but my cousin, who still lives in Vienna, and is the daughter of
Paul's friends Franzi Gruenhut and Karl Hartl emailed me the following
stories (which she told me she would be happy for me to pass on to the

"Paul was a very good friend of my parents, a bit older, a chief of the
Socialist high school students. He was engaged to Ella Reiner (subsequently
Ella Lingens). She was very surprised when he turned up one day with
flowers to ask her rather upper class mother for her hand in marriage -
because socialist youth was not usually so formal. Ella was a very
beautiful "gentile", and Paul, of course was not. But, although Paul and
Ella got engaged, they did not marry, and Paul married Mitzi Jahoda, a
neighbour in the Radetzkystrasse and a primary school friend of my mother.
They had a daughter, but Paul left Mitzi. In her despair, Mitzi tried to
commit suicide, in a quite strange and fortunately, unsuccessful way: She
spent a very cold winter night more or less naked on her balcony in the
famous Karl-Marx-Hof. Paul then emigrated to the States, where he became
the founder of experimental sociology and Mitzi emigrated to England, where
she married a well-known Labour MP and became herself quite famous in the
same discipline. Their daughter eventually went to the States as well. Both
Paul and Mitzi came to Vienna quite often after the war and were very much
in the media. He founded in Vienna, with American money, the Ford Institute,
now the Institut fuer Hoehere Studien, a place of learning more liberal than
the then very conservative University. In the thirties Paul LAZARSFELD made
a study of "Die Arbeitslosen von Mariental" about a whole community being
made redundant after the closure of a textile factory. A book was written,
and that is what made him and Mitzi famous later on. My father and other
friends worked with them, mostly in order to earn some money. My father used
to say later about this study that they had researched very hard to find out
that people bought winter coats in autumn rather than in spring!"

I hope this adds some interest to the subject.

Ruth Coman
London, England
SALUS, Bohemia; SCHUESSLER,Bohemia,Wien; LOEWY,Kolodeje nad Luznici,Kolin;
FISCHER,Kolin; FRIED,Kolin,Praha; MELZER,Zatec; MOC,MOTZ,Bohemia

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