Alice Schalek

Alice Schalek made a name for herself as Austria’s first female war photographer during WWI and went on to a stunning career as a photojournalist and travel writer. Schalek published her first novel at the turn of the century under the male pseudonym Paul Michaely, but from 1903–1934 she earned a reputation under her own name as writer and editor for the Neue Freie Presse. From 1904–1913 she wrote travel essays about her exploration of the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, eventually publishing several books on her trips. She interviewed major figures including Einstein, Gandhi, Tagore, and George Bernard Shaw. She served on the board of the Association of Women Writers and Artists in Vienna and was the only female member of the Concordia organization for journalists and writers. In 1915 she joined the Austro-Hungarian War Information Office, travelling into war zones to photograph and report on the war. She wrote and lectured on her experiences and earned a Golden Cross for bravery from the Austrian government in 1917. She continued travel writing after the war, but in 1939 she was arrested by the Gestapo for having photographs of Palestine. She fled to New York and retired from journalism.


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Photojournalist and travel writer, Alice Schalek.

Courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alice Schalek." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <>.


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