Kinder- und Jugendtage vom Krieg überschattet

Die kleine Eva Pawlik wurde in den 30er Jahren als „Wunderkind“ gefeiert und erregte vor allem mit der legendären Schaulaufnummer „Das Märchen vom standhaften Zinnsoldaten“ (gemeinsam mit dem Wiener Weltmeister Felix Kaspar, der nach seinem zweiten WM-Titel emigrieren musste) international Aufsehen. Der Zweite Weltkrieg, Hunger, Luftangriffe und das mehrjährige Aus für Europa- und Weltmeisterschaften erstickten den Beginn einer vielversprechenden internationalen Karriere. Doch Eva Pawlik ließ sich durch diese Umstände nicht beirren und trainierte weiter. In der Wintersaison stand sie täglich um 4 Uhr in der Früh auf, um im Freien bei jeder Witterung vor Schulbeginn ihren Kunstlauf zu perfektionieren. Die Konkurrenz aus Übersee konnte sich im Gegensatz dazu bereits ganzjährig in Hallen auf Meisterschaften vorbereiten.


Eva Pawlik was considered a child prodigy, able to jump a single axel and to perform a large number of spins at age 4. In her teens she got up at 4 am. daily for practise before going to school. World War II, however, destroyed the careers of many sportsmen and -women. Pawlik would have been due to compete both in the singles and with her later husband Rudi Seeliger in the pairs at the 1940 Olympics to carry on the Austrian tradition of being a world-class figure skater in both disciplines ... 


Drafted into the German Army Rudi Seeliger was captured by the Soviets and had to work as a slave coal-miner until his return to Austria in December 1949. Pawlik had to give up her amateur career as a pairs skater. So she only took part in the championships for single skaters after World War II.


Das Märchen vom standhaften Zinnsoldaten mit Weltmeister Felix Kaspar und dem "Wunderkind" Eva Pawlik in der Karikatur (1937)
Cartoon: Child prodigy Eva Pawlik together with Austrian World Champion Felix Kaspar in the Fairy Tale Of The Steady Tin Soldier (1937)

Eva Pawlik im Kurzfilm "Sonnige Jugend" (Arosa, 1937)
Eva Pawlik starring in the short movie Sunny Youth (Arosa, 1937)
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Eva Pawlik in "Sonnige Jugend" (Switzerland 1937)

Eva Pawlik was a very lively child. When going for a walk with her parents she seized her father´s hand on the left and her mother´s hand on the right to make a backwards somersault. That was in the summer of 1931 before her 4th birthday. The doctor said she should go in for sports. 

As the ice rink was not far (in the city of Vienna) her parents let her go to the Vienna Ice rink. There a skating teacher took one boy or girl after the other to conduct him or her one round and then to take the next child while the first had the opportunity to have a rest. When the teacher came back to pick up Eva again she was not there. „She must be somewhere in the crowd,“ her mother informed the teacher, who found her already able to skate alone without falling down.
As she was watching the Viennese world-class figure skaters doing their training for the following championships she tried to imitate whatever they were doing. Eva was fascinated by all of them and only had one wish: She also wanted to become one of the great figure skaters. Within a few months, she was able to jump a single axel and do fast spins. That was in the early spring of 1932. 
Eva´s coaches were Gustav Hügel (the 1897, 1898 and 1900 World Champion), Angela Hanka (Silver Medalist at the 1914 World Championships) in the free programme and Rudolf Kutzer in the compulsory figures. Edi Scholdan, too, was one of Eva´s coaches. From her 6th birthday on she got up early in the morning (at 4 o´clock) to rush to the Vienna Ice Rink to develop her skills on the ice before the beginning of school at 8.
When she was still a child, Eva Pawlik was also given piano lessons. She played the „Alla turca“ by Mozart (from the piano sonata in A major, K 331) in a students´ piano recital. That education might have improved her feeling for the music on the ice.



Eva Pawlik mit 6 Jahren (rechts), Trainer Gustav Hügel (Weltmeister 1897, 1899 und 1900) ganz links
Eva Pawlik at age 6 (on the right), coach Gustav Hügel (1897, 1899 and 1900 World Champion) on the very left

The child Evi Pawlik - The 8-year-old-Viennese, a gifted prodigy, was the big hit in the skating exhibition of the International Week of Winter Sports in Garmisch.
Child prodigy Eva Pawlik together with World Champion and Olympic runner-up Cecilia Colledge

Presence and future: World Champion Felix Kaspar and Evi Pawlik in London
The little girl Eva could not understand why Kaspar had to emigrate soon after.


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