Marta Friedländer-Garelik’s early visit to a factory convinced her to stay in school and become a lawyer, but ironically, working in a factory during WWII sent her on a new path to become a clothing designer. Friedländer earned a PhD in law from Vienna University in 1922 but spent twelve years working poorly paid positions as a typist and paralegal before obtaining a license to open a law practice of her own in 1933, the third Austrian woman to do so. Blonde and blue-eyed, she initially escaped the 1938 regulations forbidding Jews to practice law and she freed prisoners from Dachau by promising the government that they would emigrate. She was forced to close her legal practice in June of 1938 and flee two months later, but discovered upon her arrival in Ireland that the organization that had saved her was running a scam, forcing her to work in a Belfast factory on threat of deportation. Friedländer taught herself English by reading a romance novel and went to the authorities for help. The government took over the factory and Friedländer designed clothes for the factory to mass-produce, finally regaining her financial independence. She relocated to the US in 1941, opened a successful knitwear factory, and married in 1944.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Marta Friedländer-Garelik ." (Viewed on April 19, 2015) <http://jwa.org/people/friedl-nder-garelik-marta>.