23 V 1916 Kristiania (Oslo) – 1 XII 1942 KL Auschwitz-Birkenau

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Biography

Ida Rottmann was a writer and actress. In her autobiographical collection of short stories, she writes about the struggles she had to fight as an actress from the working class.

She was born in Kristiania in 1916 as the first child of the Jewish couple, Sara Schiffer-Ganz and Max Wulff Rottmann, both originally from Lithuania. When Ida was one year old, her little brother Leopold was born in the same city. Ida and Leopold’s parents got divorced shortly afterwards, and the children grew up with their mother and grandparents in poverty in a working-class neighborhood. Ida’s dream was to become an actress, and she had enough talent to be able to work as a student at the National Theater in Oslo when she turned 18.

For three years, from 1934 to 1937, Ida Rottmann was an apprentice at the most prestigious theatre in Oslo. During the last year, she was given three small roles – including roles in The King (Kongen) by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and The Defeat (Nederlaget) by Nordahl Grieg. The same year she also appeared in three different films. In addition to the adaptation of Gabriel Scott’s novel Fant, she participated in two films supported and funded by the Norwegian trade union and labour movement. But Ida Rottmann had greater ambitions. In the spring of 1939, she rented – on her own initiative – The University of Oslo’s ceremonial hall to present Bernhard Shaw’s demanding play Jeanne d’Arc. Her performance received a mixed reception, and it was the last time she was on stage as an actress.

After retiring from the film and theater scene in the autumn of 1939, Ida Rottmann published an autobiographical collection of short stories, The greatest art however is to stand on your own two feet (Største kunsten dog på egne ben å stå). Here she dealt with, among other things, the power and generational struggles at the National Theater, and the alienation she had experienced as a young theater student with a working-class background. 

Six months later, Norway was occupied by the Nazis. When Ida Rottmann filled out the Nazi collaboration regime’s questionnaire for Jews in Norway in early 1942, she reportedly worked as an office worker. However, for the field of profession,  she wrote „actress”. In August of the same year, Ida Rottmann married Norwegian-Jewish Elias Gorvitz. Three months later they were both deported on the ship DS Donau. Ida Gorvitz was murdered when she arrived in Auschwitz, 26 years old and six months pregnant.


Ida Gorvitz Rottmann in a film role. From the collection of Oslo Jewish Museum

 


Ida Gorvitz Rottmann in a film role. From the collection of Oslo Jewish Museum

 


The National Theater of Norway, where Ida Gorvitz was educated as an actress (Public Domain)

Ida Rottmann was a writer and actress. In her autobiographical collection of short stories, she writes about the struggles she had to fight as an actress from the working class.

She was born in Kristiania in 1916 as the first child of the Jewish couple, Sara Schiffer-Ganz and Max Wulff Rottmann, both originally from Lithuania. When Ida was one year old, her little brother Leopold was born in the same city. Ida and Leopold’s parents got divorced shortly afterwards, and the children grew up with their mother and grandparents in poverty in a working-class neighborhood. Ida’s dream was to become an actress, and she had enough talent to be able to work as a student at the National Theater in Oslo when she turned 18.

For three years, from 1934 to 1937, Ida Rottmann was an apprentice at the most prestigious theatre in Oslo. During the last year, she was given three small roles – including roles in The King (Kongen) by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and The Defeat (Nederlaget) by Nordahl Grieg. The same year she also appeared in three different films. In addition to the adaptation of Gabriel Scott’s novel Fant, she participated in two films supported and funded by the Norwegian trade union and labour movement. But Ida Rottmann had greater ambitions. In the spring of 1939, she rented – on her own initiative – The University of Oslo’s ceremonial hall to present Bernhard Shaw’s demanding play Jeanne d’Arc. Her performance received a mixed reception, and it was the last time she was on stage as an actress.

After retiring from the film and theater scene in the autumn of 1939, Ida Rottmann published an autobiographical collection of short stories, The greatest art however is to stand on your own two feet (Største kunsten dog på egne ben å stå). Here she dealt with, among other things, the power and generational struggles at the National Theater, and the alienation she had experienced as a young theater student with a working-class background. 

Six months later, Norway was occupied by the Nazis. When Ida Rottmann filled out the Nazi collaboration regime’s questionnaire for Jews in Norway in early 1942, she reportedly worked as an office worker. However, for the field of profession,  she wrote „actress”. In August of the same year, Ida Rottmann married Norwegian-Jewish Elias Gorvitz. Three months later they were both deported on the ship DS Donau. Ida Gorvitz was murdered when she arrived in Auschwitz, 26 years old and six months pregnant.

23 V 1916 Kristiania (Oslo) – 1 XII 1942 KL Auschwitz-Birkenau

BACK

PL  |  DE  |  ENG  | NOUKR