Diana Reiter

Diana Reiter

one of the first women architects in Kraków

T. Keneally, Schindler’s List, 1993
Amon could tell, from the way she walked toward him, the bogus elegance with which her middle-class parents had raised her, the European manners they had imbued her with, sending her … off to Vienna or Milan to give her a profession and a heightened protective coloration. She walked toward him as if his rank and hers would bind them in the battle against oafish NCOs and the inferior craft of whichever SS engineer had supervised the digging of the foundations. … “You’ve had occasion to quarrel with Oberscharführer Hujar,” Goeth told her as a fact. She nodded firmly. The Herr Commandant would understand, the nod suggested, even though that idiot Hujar couldn’t. The entire foundations at that end must be redug, she told him energetically. … She went on arguing the case, and Amon nodded and presumed she must be lying. Jewish specialists were in the mold of Marx, whose theories were aimed at the integrity of government, and of Freud, who had assaulted the integrity of the Aryan mind. Amon felt that this girl’s argument threatened his personal integrity. He called Hujar. …

Shoot her, Amon told Hujar. … Hujar took the girl’s elbow to lead her away to some place of private execution.

Here! said Amon. Shoot her here! On my authority, said Amon.

Hujar knew how it was done. He gripped her by the elbow, pushed her a little to his front, took the Mauser from his holster, and shot her in the back of the neck.

The sound appalled everyone on the work site, except – it seemed – the executioners and the dying Miss Diana Reiter herself. She knelt and looked up once. It will take more than that, she was saying. The knowingness in her eyes frightened Amon, justified him. … Apart from these considerations, the shooting of this Diana Reiter, the canceling of her Western European diploma, had this practical value: that no erector of huts or roads in Płaszów would consider himself essential to the task – that if Miss Diana Reiter could not save herself with all her professional skill, the only chance of the others was prompt and anonymous labor.
T. Keneally, Schindler’s List, 1993

Diana Reiter

(6 Nov 1902, Drohobycz – 1943? Kraków), one of the first women architects in Kraków. She graduated from Architecture Department at Lviv Polytechnic in 1927. In the years 1928-1932 she worked at the Head Office of Regional Public Roadworks in Kraków. In 1928, her project, designed together with Z. Kowalski and A. Moscheni, was awarded 3rd place in the competition for the building of Jagiellonian Library. In the years 1931-34, she was a member of the Architect Association of Kraków Voivodship, and Jewish Engineer Association (since 1937). Two buildings she designed are still extant: at Beliny-Prażmowskiego 26 (1933-1935), and at Pawlikowskiego 16 (1939). Since August 1940, she worked in the architect office of Kazimierz Kulczyński and together with her mother lived at Królewska Street, until the establishment of the ghetto in March 1941. Her horrendous tragic death in the Płaszów concentration camp at the order of Amon Goeth, was eternalized in many memoirs of the Holocaust survivors, and in the film Schindler’s List (1993).
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