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Jutta Jabloner 1920-2020

Oct 20, 2020 | JMW News

The Jewish Museum Vienna mourns the loss of Jutta Jabloner, who was born as Jutta Weinstein in Memel in East Prussia in 1920 and lived in Berlin until she fled. In 1939, she came to Shanghai with her parents, her brother and three uncles on the “Cosima Maru.” A trained milliner, she was not able to practice her profession in Shanghai, because “hardly anyone wore hats in Shanghai,” as she said, so she worked as a waitress and in other jobs. The move to the ghetto and the harassment of the Japanese commander Ghoya afflicted her, as did the numerous tropical diseases and especially typhus. She had to cope with the loss of her family in Germany and Lithuania, and in Shanghai her mother, brother and two of her uncles died one after the other. In 1946, she married Hans Jabloner from Vienna, who ran the “Fiaker” restaurant in Shanghai. From the first moment they met, Jutta was impressed by the charisma of her future husband, who had worked as an impresario in Vienna. The “Fiaker,” according to their self-promotion, featured “the best Sacher torte outside of Vienna,” as well as a cocktail bar, which gained popularity as a meeting spot for the Shanghai high society. On the Jewish holidays, however, Hans Jabloner and his business partner Fritz Strehlen invited refugee children to the “Fiaker.” As an incurable Viennese, Hans Jabloner wanted to return to his hometown as quickly as possible after the end of the war. Jutta Jabloner, who was repeatedly teased in Vienna in the post-war period because of her German pronunciation, got used to answering with her characteristic humor: “No, I don’t come from the German Reich, I come from China.”

After their return, the Jabloners opened the “Altes Rathaus” café, which became the place where the former Shanghai émigrés gathered. In 1948, their son Clemens Jabloner was born. He went on to make a career at the University of Vienna and in the civil service. Jutta Jabloner managed again in the 1960s to establish her own café in Vienna-Mariahilf, which she ran until she retired. Despite the hard strokes of fate, Jutta Jabloner looked back on her eventful life with equanimity, always retaining her sense of humor. I am very grateful for the many wonderful encounters with Jutta Jabloner. Above all, for the fact that we succeeded in bringing her together with her childhood friend from Shanghai, Ingeborg Hungerleider, after more than 70 years. Jutta Jabloner’s heartiness cast a spell over people, including my colleagues and me. Mrs. Jabloner will be missed very much, and she will always have a place in our hearts.