Partner Naomi Replansky
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Cafe Rienzi, 107 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
Kollisch; (born August 17, 1925 in Vienna) is an American writer, literary
scholar and a German pacifist and feminist.
Eva Kollisch was the daughter of writer Margaret Kollisch (1893-1979), born Moller, and the architect Otto Kollisch (1881-1952). She spent her school years in Baden. In July 1939, she fled on a Kindertransport to the UK and in 1940 and she emigrated with her two brothers Peter and Stephen in the U.S., where her parents had found refuge in November 1939.
In New York, from 1941 to 1946 she was a member of the Trotskyist Workers Party and married the nephew of Max Shachtman, party activists and author Stanley Plastrik, one of the editors of the magazine Dissent. In 1950, she married her second husband, the painter Gert Berliner (born 1924) who, with others such as the painter David Gross, collectively run the cafe Rienzi, 107 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. The cafe was a kind of Mecca of the New York bohemians and there were guests such as James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan and other beatniks. The science fiction author Chester Anderson appeared as a musician.
Eva Kollisch studied German literature and science at Brooklyn College and later at Columbia University. Then she led, together with Gerda Lerner and Joan Kelly, a course for women's studies at Sarah Lawrence College. At this college, she eventually became a professor and taught English, German, comparative women literature.
From her marriage to Berliner, she had a son, the journalist Uri Berliner.
The retired scientist and writer is still politically active and lives with her partner, the American poet Naomi Replansky (born 1918), in New York.
Naomi and Eva were introduced by Grace Paley in 1986. As Naomi recalled in 2000, “I was going to a reading of Grace’s at Gay Women’s Alternative at the Unitarian Church on 76th St. I had gone to a few lectures but didn’t go regularly; I felt out of place because I was so much older. But Grace was the magnet. Eva was there, she was a close friend of Grace’s from Sarah Lawrence College where they both taught. We began talking, about literature. Then Grace came along and introduced us.”
“It just feels right and natural and I love Naomi, and so in a certain sense, it is very simple. But I was quite fortunate, I think, that I wasn’t a lesbian, practicing, or even fantasizing too much, at a time when it was so taboo that you had to hide completely, or had to feel shame, or you had to go meet in bars,” Eva said in a wide-ranging interview in 2004. “I didn’t go through this period of great suffering that so many women did in the ’40s and ’50s, and by the 1960s, you know, it was a part of my androgyny, really, to have loved some men and to love women.”
In 2016, Naomi and Eva won the 2016 Clara Lemlich Social Activist Award.
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