Born in Celje, Alma M. Karlin (1889-1950), globetrotter, writer, amateur explorer, polyglot, and theosophist travelled around the world from 1919 until 1927. She journeyed alone and continuously for eight years, earning a living while travelling. The nature of her journeys makes her one of the greatest world travellers of all time.
She was able to acquire nine languages, but was never truly fluent in her mother tongue. She was born during intense nationalist conflicts between Slovenians and Germans in Celje. Although she was born Slovenian, she was raised as a German. All of her works were written in German language. Her dream of fame and success was achieved by the travelogue trilogy, published 1929-1933.
Alma was fervently opposed to the rise of Hitler and Nazism, for which she was imprisoned in Celje in 1941 after the Nazi occupation; according to some reports, she was almost deported to Dachau. She avoided this dreadful fate, but she soon ended up in a similar situation. Even though Alma joined the partisan guerrilla movement, the Yugoslav authorities after the war confiscated her property; in 1950, living in poverty, she succumbed to cancer.
The exhibition highlights her life and work; among other things, there are items on display, documenting her journeys around the world.
Have a look at the virtual exhibition Alma M. Karlin – Journeys – and the leaflet supplementing the exhibition.