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Nina Graboi
Photographer Unknown
Erowid Character Vaults
Nina Graboi
Born in Vienna, Austria in 1918, Graboi fled the Nazi regime, spent three months in a detention camp in North Africa, and managed to escape to America with her husband in 1941. Arriving as a penniless refugee, she went on to become a society hostess in an exclusive Long Island community. At the age of 36 she was living what most people considered the epitome of the American Dream, yet Nina felt a great void in her life. In search of this missing link, she plunged into the study of esoteric subjects and became an avid practitioner of meditation. When she was 47 she left her husband and became deeply involved in the counter-culture of the sixties.

Graboi had her first psychedelic experience in the company of Alan Watts and she frequently spent time at the famed Millbrook estate where a group had gathered around Timothy Leary to study the mind-expanding effects of LSD. She was the Director of the New York Center of the League for Spiritual Discovery, a nonprofit organization which operated to help and educate people engaged in exploring the potential of psychedelic consciousness. In 1969 she opened a boutique in Woodstock and lived there for the next ten years. She later moved to Santa Cruz, California. [adapted from the interview Stepping Into the Future]

"I don't like the word 'drugs' at all.... It's a complete misnomer when it refers to psychedelics, which have nothing to do with drugs that make you lethargic, dull, sleepy. The psychedelics wake you up. They wake you up in such startling ways that they can give you very disorienting experiences."
-- Nina Graboi Interview, bOING bOING, Number 8, p.37
  • In Memoriam : Nina Graboi (MAPS)