Dr. Gerhardt B. Ladner

Gerhart Ladner, born on December 3, 1905, was the son of Oscar Leopold Ladner (a wealthy Viennese factory owner) and Alice Ladner geb. Burian. Ladner attended the Bundesgymnasium XIX in Vienna, graduating in 1924. Ladner received his Ph.D. in 1930 and his thesis was published in 1931, around the same time he converted from a non-practicing Jew to Roman Catholicism. His first post-doctoral position was at the Kunsthistorisches Museum cataloging portrait medals. In 1934 he entered the Österreichischen Historischen Institut in Rom (Austrian Institute in Rome), where he began his research project on papal portrait iconography in the middle ages.

With the annexation of Austria in March 1938, Ladner had his venia legendi (permission to lecture) withdrawn because he was "non-Aryan." He fled Vienna the same year initially to London and then Canada. Between 1943 and 1946 he fulfilled Canadian war service in World War II in army intelligence. During this time he married Jocelyn Mary Plummer in 1942. After the war he resettled in the United States.

Dr. Ladner amassed a notable library during the course of his academic and professional careers in Vienna. In 1938, when he fled Austria, his library was seized by the Nazi authorities. A number of his books and manuscripts were slated for Hitler’s library and in Linz and other were given to the Austrian National Library in Vienna.

Photo of Gerhardt (seated) and George Ladner (standing) - Larger
Photo of Oscar and Alice Ladner
Photo of Oscar, Alice, Gerhard and George Ladner

Recovered Works from the Ladner Collection