"he saw a young woman standing at a table . . . 'Fraulein Wittgenstein?'"
Hermine Wittgenstein, 1900
Public DomainHermine Wittgenstein, 1900

     Hermine Wittgenstein (1874-1950) was the eldest of the eight Wittgenstein children. She never married, had few suitors, and cared for her parents until the end of their respective days. She continued to live in the Palais Wittgenstein after their passing. She, like her siblings, was a talented musician as well as a painter. As the Nazis grew in power, her brothers had fled the country placing most of the family fortune in Swiss banks. Although advised to leave Vienna, she refused, believing her status and the fact that her family had been Christian for three generations would keep her safe. Nonetheless, the Wittgenstein family was declared Jewish. It was only the payment of much of the Wittgenstein fortune to the government that allowed her and her sister Gretl a special exempt status from persecution. After the war, Hermine stayed in Vienna, living the half-ruined palais until she died.