Alöisia Woschkeruscha 1912
Regular readers of this blog have met Elisabetha (Lisi) Ebner, my paternal grandmother. This CoG gives me an opportunity to introduce you to my mother’s mother, Alöisia Koroschetz, née Woschkeruscha (VAUSH-ker-UZH-uh). (She was nicknamed Luisa -- or Louise, in America. My middle name is taken from her).
She was born May 4, 1886, in Wiener-Neudorf, Austria, south of Vienna, to Johann and Therese Woschkeruscha. We don’t know much about Johann’s forefather’s, but Therese was the daughter of Anna and Paul Müller (Miller). Paul’s surname was also his profession. He owned and operated a successful flour mill, which will be the subject a future post.
From family lore, I learned that as a young child, Alöisia and her sister had contracted smallpox. Her father supposedly ran through the night to get a doctor when his little girls were burning up with fever. My mother told me the little sister died. Alöisia lived, but her face had been disfigured with pock scars, making her self-conscious of her appearance throughout her life. While her photos show her to be dramatically good-looking, we can’t see the pits that made her feel she was ugly.
Later in life, she felt compelled to have acid applied to her face to smooth out her ravaged skin. But it couldn’t smooth out her psyche. My mom said she was convinced no man would ever fall in love with her because of the scars, and, that may have influenced Alöisia to pursue a career. Nevertheless, her artistic skills were undeniable.
She was “a graduated dressmaker from Vienna,” a mantra she repeated over and over to my mother, Lillian, and which Mom, in turn, repeated to us children. In an era when virtually every girl was required to learn all manner of needlework, there’s no doubt that Alöisia had exceptional talent.
|Apprentice Certificate 1909|
Alöisia had to complete a “Master Work.” The photo at the top is Alöisia posing in the dress she designed and created to get her degree. The photo is dated 1912, so six years passed from the time she began her studies to the date of this photo. It may be hard to see the detail on this blog post, but the dress is stunning. The skirt is splashed with pearls, small satin bows run vertically down the chest, and tiny rosettes edge the high collar. It had always rankled her that she walked away with only second prize, knowing her creation was the finest in the class. Of course, the mayor’s daughter had to take first.
|Scissors, thread, iron|
Details from Lehrbrief
|Naked man and woman in "hot tub"|
upper right detail in Lehrbrief!