Cenzi from Ficker

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Cenzi Sild , née Cenzi von Ficker (born September 1, 1878 in Munich , † August 26, 1956 at Stauf Castle ) was an Austrian mountaineer. Before the First World War , she was one of the most famous Austrian mountaineers under the nickname Uschba-Mädel .


Cenzi von Ficker was born as the second oldest child and daughter of the historian Julius von Ficker , who teaches at Innsbruck University . Her three younger brothers were Ludwig , Heinrich and Rudolf von Ficker .

Together with her brother Heinrich, she began touring the Karwendel and Wetterstein mountains in her youth . At the age of 20 she became a member of the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAK). She quickly earned a reputation as a daring climber and good ski tourer . In 1901 she made tours in the Valais around Zermatt for the first time . For her, mountaineering was a way of "finding a way out into the open just out of all the sitting-room".

Cenzi von Ficker was best known for her participation in the 1903 Caucasus expedition organized by Willi Rickmer Rickmers . Together with Rickmers, her brother and Adolf Schulze , she was involved in the first attempt to climb the 4737 m high Uschba south summit, which was then the heaviest mountain in the world. After Schulze in lead climbing was a bad fall, with her brother as its backup partners significantly violated, she hid the two injured together with Rickmers and a support and secured the descent to the high camp. At Schulze's second and successful attempt just a few days later, however, she was not there.

At the end of the Caucasus expedition, Cenzi von Ficker managed to climb several smaller peaks for the first time, including a previously unnamed, 3860 meter high mountain, which was then named after her and was named "Tsentsi Tau". Prince Dadeschkeliani of Svaneti was very impressed by the courage of Cenzi von Ficker in rescuing her injured companion - she formally received the ushba from him. The deed of donation is in the Alpine Museum in Munich . After her return, she was celebrated in Germany and Austria as an intrepid alpinist and popularized as the “Uschba girl”. In the following years she completed other mountain tours, mostly accompanied by her brother.

In 1906 she took part in an expedition to Turkestan organized by Rickmers , which took her as far as the Pamirs and from there to the huge Fedchenko glacier . On this expedition, she climbed several previously unclimbed peaks in the Peter I chain of the Pamir. In 1908 Cenzi von Ficker married the Viennese lawyer and mountaineer Hannes Sild . Sild also took over from her brother as a partner on mountain and ski tours. Together with him, she traveled again to the Pamirs and Samarkand in 1913 . In the same year she was the first female skier on the Großvenediger . The couple had three sons in the following years. In 1914 her husband had to go to war as an officer of the kuk Kaiserjäger , from which he returned home seriously wounded in 1917.

In the 1920s, the Silds , who meanwhile lived in Vienna , continued to go on regular alpine tours, gradually accompanied by their three sons, who also became good mountaineers. In 1937 the ÖAK appointed Cenzi Sild its first female honorary member. In the same year, however, her eldest son Ulrich Sild (1911–1937), called "Uli", fell fatally in the south-west face of the pole wall of the Hochschwab group , and her husband died a few months later after a long illness. The other two sons Hans Henning and Meinhart (the latter was Arthur Seyss-Inquart's personal advisor for the German Alpine Club from 1938 ) died in World War II .

After the war, Cenzi von Ficker lived mainly with friends of the family, including in Innsbruck, Nuremberg and St. Gallen , and during the summer at the Karwendelhaus . She died in 1956 after a brief illness at the age of 77 and was buried in Vienna.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Commemorative article from 1956 (accessed on March 13, 2013; PDF; 1.0 MB)
  2. a b c d Obituary for Cenzi Sild in the Österreichische Alpenzeitung, November / December 1956, volume 74 (accessed on March 13, 2013; PDF; 1.0 MB)
  3. Summit victory in long skirts , Tiroler Tageszeitung, May 10, 2012 (accessed on March 3, 2020)
  4. Stefan Meineke: A life full of adventure. Adolf Schulze - a forgotten pioneer of modern alpinism. in: Alpenvereinsjahrbuch 2001, p. 101
  5. Horst Christoph: Loosely from the stool. How mountains, walls and ridges got their name , Der Standard from November 5, 2009 (accessed March 13, 2013)
  6. ^ Karl Lukan: Mountains. The great adventure , Otto Maier Verlag, Ravensburg 1979, p. 126
  7. Uli Sild , in: Österreichische Alpenzeitung, volume 1182, June 1937, pp. 142–145.
  8. Historical Alpine Archives of the Alpine Associations in Germany, Austria and South Tyrol , Uli Sild personal folder, signature: DAV PER 1 SG / 2041/0 (PDF file; 859 kB), from: historisches-alpenarchiv.org, accessed on November 15, 2017.
  9. Sean Moore Ireton, Caroline Schaumann (ed.): Heights of Reflection - Mountains in the German Imagination from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-first Century , Camden House Publishing, Rochester, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1571135025 , p. 289 .
  10. ^ Journal of the German Alpine Association, Volume 70, Munich 1939, pp. 1 f., P. 5 ff. And p. 7 ff.