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Life of Muriel Gardiner who rescued anti-fascists from 1930s Vienna to be celebrated in exhibition

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The incredible life story of a Chicago heiress who helped save hundreds of anti-fascists from the Nazis is celebrated in a new exhibit.

Muriel Gardiner smuggled passports and money to dissidents and provided shelter for them when fascism took hold in Austria in the 1930s after Adolf Hitler took power in neighboring Germany.

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the brave woman moved back to the US and then worked tirelessly to bring as many German and Austrian refugees as possible to her homeland as the suppression of anti-Nazi activities accelerated.

After coming to Europe and studying at Oxford University, Gardiner had moved to Vienna in 1926 in hopes of being studied by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.

She had tea with him in his garden and befriended his daughter Anna, who later helped her fund the Freud Museum at the psychoanalyst’s home in Hampstead, north-west London, where he moved after leaving Austria in 1938. escaped.

The new exhibit will celebrate Gardiner’s life story at the museum by displaying family photos and unseen documents that shed more light on her brave anti-Nazi rescue efforts.

Gardiner’s own autobiography, which she codenamed Mary in a nod to the secret alias she used in aiding the Austrian dissidents, has also been republished for the exhibition.

Actress Vanessa Redgrave, whose Oscar-winning performance as an anti-Nazi activist in the 1977 film Julia was based on Gardiner, will deliver a speech following the exhibit’s opening on September 18.

Muriel Gardiner smuggled passports and money to dissidents and provided shelter for them when fascism took hold in Austria in the 1930s after Adolf Hitler came to power in neighboring Germany

The incredible life story of a Chicago heiress who helped save hundreds of anti-fascists from the Nazis is retold in a new exhibit. Muriel Gardiner smuggled passports and money to dissidents and provided shelter for them when fascism took hold in Austria in the 1930s after Adolf Hitler took power in neighboring Germany. Above: Gardiner as a young woman and in later life. They are among the photos that will be on display in the exhibition

After coming to Europe and studying at Oxford University, Gardiner had moved to Vienna in 1926 in hopes of being studied by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.  She had tea with him in his garden and befriended his daughter Anna, who later helped her fund the Freud Museum at the psychoanalyst's home in Hampstead, north-west London, where he moved after fleeing Austria in 1938.  The new exhibition celebrates Gardiner's life story at the museum

After coming to Europe and studying at Oxford University, Gardiner had moved to Vienna in 1926 in hopes of being studied by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. She had tea with him in his garden and befriended his daughter Anna, who later helped her fund the Freud Museum at the psychoanalyst’s home in Hampstead, north-west London, where he moved after fleeing Austria in 1938. The new exhibition celebrates Gardiner’s life story at the museum

Museum director Carol Siegel said the exhibition is “a thank you and a tribute to Muriel Gardiner who was responsible for establishing the museum and supporting it for many years, but it also sheds light on such an interesting life.”

Once during her dangerous escapades in Austria, Gardiner was marched off a train after she had five passports taped to her body.

She only escaped because she avoided being searched.

Born in 1901 to a family whose fortunes had been made in the meat-packing trade in Chicago, Gardiner earned a degree from a liberal arts college near Boston.

Actress Vanessa Redgrave, whose Oscar-winning performance as an anti-Nazi activist in the 1977 film Julia (above, Redgrave is well seen with co-star Jane Fonda) was based on Gardiner ¿ will give a speech after the exhibit on Sept. 18 is opened

The original poster of the movie is shown above

Actress Vanessa Redgrave, whose Oscar-winning performance as an anti-Nazi activist in the 1977 film Julia (pictured left, Redgrave can be seen on the right with co-star Jane Fonda) was based on Gardiner — will give a speech after the opening of the exhibition on September 18. The original poster of the film is shown on the right

The house outside Vienna where Gardiner sheltered the anti-fascist dissidents whose lives she helped save

The house outside Vienna where Gardiner sheltered the anti-fascist dissidents whose lives she helped save

The new exhibit will celebrate Gardiner's life story at the museum by displaying family photos and unseen documents that shed more light on her valiant anti-Nazi rescue efforts

The new exhibit will celebrate Gardiner’s life story at the museum by displaying family photos and unseen documents that shed more light on her valiant anti-Nazi rescue efforts

She then went to teach in Rome, where she met the fascist forces of Benito Mussolini.

Gardiner then studied at Oxford before arriving in Vienna to study Freud’s discipline of psychoanalysis.

A brief marriage to the English artist Julian Gardiner was followed by her union with Joseph Buttinger, the leader of the Austrian Revolutionary Socialists.

Then, in 1934 – following the rise of the country’s fascist regime – Gardiner became involved in the dissident activities that now shape her legacy.

While her husband had fled to Paris to oppose the new regime from exile, Gardiner stayed in Vienna to continue helping anti-fascists flee Austria.

When war was declared in September 1939, she and Bottinger captured the last American boat from France before it fell to Hitler’s forces.

Muriel moved to Vienna in the hope that Sigmund Freud (above) would psychoanalyze her.

Although that didn't happen, she had tea with him in his garden and later became friends with his daughter Anna

Muriel moved to Vienna in the hope that Sigmund Freud (left) would psychoanalyze her. Although that didn’t happen, she did have tea with him in his garden and later befriended his daughter Anna (right)

Muriel then gave financial support to the project that turned Freud's London home (pictured) into a museum

Muriel then gave financial support to the project that turned Freud’s London home (pictured) into a museum

Anna followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a celebrated psychoanalyst herself.  Freud died in September 1939, while his daughter died in 1982 at the family's London home

Anna followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming a celebrated psychoanalyst herself. Freud died in September 1939, while his daughter died in 1982 at the family’s London home

The museum was founded four years later.  The centerpiece is Freud's original sofa (above) from Vienna.  Patients sat on the furniture when he psychoanalyzed them

The museum was founded four years later. The centerpiece is Freud’s original sofa (above) from Vienna. Patients sat on the furniture when he psychoanalyzed them

Despite now living thousands of miles away, Gardiner has put her family’s wealth to good use by sending food parcels to the needy in Europe.

She also had her own psychoanalytic practice and published several books.

Towards the end of her life she helped to found the Freud Museum.

The charitable organization she founded – the New-Land Foundation – supported the project financially.

Gardiner died of lung cancer in 1985 and her legacy was recognized in Austria by the decision to name a street in Vienna after her.

Mrs Redgrave, 84, said: the guard: ‘She was unique. A wealthy young woman who cared deeply about what was going on socially and politically.

“But the connection is staring us right in the face: given the terrible period we live in, with good Englishmen just trying to help in a cruel country, this is an important exhibition.”

Freud, who was Jewish, moved to the UK with his wife and children after it became untenable for them to live in Austria.

Anna followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming a celebrated psychoanalyst herself. Freud died in September 1939, while his daughter died in 1982 at the family’s London home.

The museum was founded four years later. The centerpiece is Freud’s original sofa from Vienna. Patients sat on the furniture when he psychoanalyzed them.

They were asked to say whatever came to their mind without consciously selecting information, a practice Freud called the free association technique.

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