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Nadina Abarth-Žerjav (née Nadja Žerjav) (March 5, 1912, Görz (Gorizia) – September 17, 2000, Ljubljana) was the daughter of the Slovene politician and lawyer minister Gregor Žerjav and his wife, Milena née Lavrenčič. Her elder brother was Borut Žerjav, journalist in Paris, and her twin sister was Tatjana, who died young from tuberculosis (1943).
Nada Abarth Zerjav spent her early childhood in Graz and Ljubljana. As her father and politician Žerjav was preventively arrested and imprisoned during World War I in the Ljubljana Castle and in Graz by the Austro-Hungarian authorities for his "notorious pro-Serbian attitudes", she lived some time at her grandparents. After the early death of both her parents from tuberculosis she was educated at Munich and Paris. Later she lived in Ljubljana. One of her close friends was painter Zoran Mušič. She was wounded during the war (attack on A. Praprotnik in Ljubljana, February 20, 1942).
On November 28, 1949, she was married to Carlo Abarth, the well known Turin–Automobile-Industrialist. Nada Abarth-Žerjav and Carlo Abarth met in 1944 at Lake Garda (Italy). Nada Abarth supported her husband during the founding period of the Abarth-works as later on in every possible way. She initiated the contact to Tazio Nuvolari which became important during the first years of the existence of the Squadra Abarth. She spoke seven languages which enabled her to engage in public-relations in foreign countries as well. Even after the divorce in 1979 she remained on friendly terms with Carlo Abarth and after his death she continued to admire him greatly. The couple had no children.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia 1991 Nadina Abarth-Zerjav, who had had the Italian citizenship since 1949, applied for the Slovenian citizenship also and finally received it in 1997 in honour of her families history.
Nada Abarth lived in Turin for over 50 years and was well known there. She left Turin in November 1999 for reasons of ill health and moved to nephew’s family in Ljubljana where she died on September 17, 2000. She was buried four days later in her families gravesite, a protected monument in the Žale cemetery in Ljubljana.
Pressrelease after death of Nadina Abarth-Zerjav
Notice of death La Stampa 19.9.2000
Correspondence with Tazio Nuvolari - left letters, Nuvolari-Guerra Museum, Centro Guide Mantova "I Gonzaga"
notice of death Carlo Abarth, Stampasera, 26.10.1979
Interviews with Nadina Abarth-Zerjav (Dario Lampa)
Gianfranco Fagiuoli - Guido Gerosa: Carlo Abarth, Automobile Club d'Italia, l'editrice dell automobile
Gianfranco Fagiuoli - Guido Gerosa: Carlo Abarth, Motorbuch Verlag
Carlo Abarth, l'uomo, le macchine
Carli Abarth, the man, the machines
period-foto-documents released by Abarth & Co, Turin, Italy