Eric Pleskow 1924–2019
The Jewish Museum Vienna mourns for an extraordinary person and dear friend.
Eric Pleskow, the successful Hollywood producer, multiple Academy Award winner, president of the Viennale film festival, and honorary member of the board of the Friends of the Jewish Museum Vienna, passed away yesterday at the age of 95.
Eric Pleskow was closely associated with the Jewish Museum Vienna for many years. During preparation for Larger than Life. 100 Years of Hollywood. A Jewish Experience, the first major temporary exhibition held under the direction of Danielle Spera in 2011 and curated by Werner Hanak, Eric Pleskow shared his profound knowledge of Hollywood with us. Born and raised in Vienna, Pleskow fled from the Nazi regime to the US in 1938, but maintained a very close relationship with his hometown, despite the traumatic experience of expulsion. He shared memories of his youth in Vienna with us on numerous visits and in personal conversations. A very touching evening in 2012 with Eric Pleskow and the great journalist Ari Rath will particularly remain in memory: At the presentation of the film Die Porzellangassenbuben (The Boys of Porzellangasse), Pleskow and Rath—who first met at an advanced age, but both grew up at the same time on Porzellangasse in Vienna’s ninth district—gave account of their life in Vienna before 1938, their flight and their new beginning in the USA, respectively, Palestine/Israel.
Eric Pleskow’s passion for film was just as contagious as his love for the city of his birth, which he returned to regularly until a few years ago. His culinary yearning for Vienna could be satisfied by poppy seed cakes we brought along on visits to the United States. We will miss him dearly as an astute, as well as particularly humorous conversation partner and friend.
Photo (c) Sonja Bachmayer