Rosé, Alma

BORN 3 Nov 1906, Wien - DIED 4 Apr 1944, Auschwitz
CAUSE OF DEATH poisoning (possibly botulism)

Daughter of the distinguished Jewish violinist Arnold Rosé and his wife Justine, a sister of Gustav Mahler. Alma became famous at the violin herself. She toured through Europe with her own ensemble, the Wiener Walzermädeln.

On 16 Sep 1930 she married violinist Vása Príhoda, but they divorced in 1935. After the nazis rose to power in Austria the family fled to England (her mother had died in 1938). To earn some money she went to the Netherlands to give violin performances. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940 she was trapped and had to go in hiding. On 4 March 1942 she married Constant August van Leenwen-Boonkamp.

When she tried to escape from the Netherlands she was caught in France and the Germans deported her to Auschwitz. There she led an orchestra and saved the lives of several women by allowing them to participate although they lacked the necessary skills. When she suddenly fell seriously ill she was brought to the notorious Dr. Mengele, but she had already died when he inspected her. All he could do was sign her death certificate.

Her body was burned at Auschwitz, but her name was added to the tombstone of her parents at Grinzing cemetery in Vienna.

• Father: Rosé, Arnold
• Mother: Mahler, Justine
• Husband: Príhoda, Vása (1930-1935)

Related persons
• is nephew/niece of Mahler, Gustav


The grave of Arnold, Justine and Alma Rosé at the Grinzing Cemetery in Vienna. For Alma it's only a cenotaph (she died in Auschwitz).
Picture by androom (15 Aug 2006)


• Newman, Richard with Karen Kirtley, Alma Rosé, Vienna to Auschwitz, Amadeus Press, Cambridge, 2003
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Rosé, Arnold

Published: 01 Oct 2006
Last update: 21 Apr 2024