Scholarly Writing

Cabaret in Exile: Wien 1933-1938

Willy Rosen, Max Ehrlich, Hugo Fischer- Köppe, Max Hansen, Max Adalbert ( Foto, 1930)

“The underworld had opened its gates and let loose its lowers, vilest, most unclean sprits. The city changed into a nightmare painting of Hieronymus Bosch: evil spirits and half demons seemed to crawl out of the filth and from swampy holes in the earth. The air war filled with unceasing, yelling, wild, hysterical screaming from male and female gullets that screeched for days and nights on end. And all men lost their faces, resembled distorted grimaces; some in fear, others in lies, and others in wild, hate-filled triumph…What was unleashed here was the revolt of envy, grudge, bitterness, blind and evil vindictiveness – and all other voices were condemned to silence…a blind fury of destruction and hatred was directed at everything that nature or spirit ennobled. It was the witches’ Sabbath of the rabble and the burial of all human dignity.” (Zuckmayer, A Part of Myself, 50)

The above quote by German playwright Carl Zuckmayer, describing the events of March 12, 1938, chronicles the culmination of pent-up hostilities by Austrian Nazis who, for the five years since the coming to power of their leader Adolf Hitler, had turned the city of music and gaiety into one of fear and subjugation. Upon the ascent of the National Socialists in 1933, Comedian Curt Bois, star of the Weimar Berlin cabaret scene, made two stops in Vienna after fleeing Germany that same year.  However, he had to come to terms with the fact that he was no longer welcome in Vienna, a city which had once called him “darling”. The Anschluß brought an end to much of the cabaret world in Vienna, whose lively and at times politically charged performances were heightened by the rich array of former Weimar talent filling its stages. The five year “safety net” provided by the Austrian capitol saw a plethora of Germany’s finest and brightest calling it home…all to come to an abrupt halt, sending the exiled Weimar community fleeing across the globe. Accounts detailing Vienna cabaret in the 1930’s are rare, as much was lost during the Second World War. However, thanks to the efforts of musicologists who have been undertaking research with the fervor of an Egyptologist, information is resurfacing, particularly via the work of Regina Thumser-Woehs and Hans Weigel, whose writings and research on Viennese cabaret between the wars is bringing new light to this long-neglected topic.

“In the following explanations, which take place from the Viennese perspective, “exile” is understood in a rather unusual sense, that is, not just as a change of location, which is primarily forced for political reasons. This should in no way contradict the relevance and moral dimension of the historical concept of exile. Nevertheless, the term seems to me to be applicable also for the self-chosen change of location, first with regard to the association of “uprooting” and “joining into the inevitable”,…regarding the contemporary reception in the respective Exile locations that take up the topic again and again.”

Christian Glanz: Vienna and Berlin as “Mutual Places of Exile” of Music

The takeover of power by the National Socialists, now forced Weimar’s “degenerate” music scene into actual exile, if they could get to safety in time. For some, it would be, for a short period at least, Vienna. The choice of Vienna as an exile destination was initially obvious due to the lack of a language barrier. In fact, this motif was especially important for those whose artistic activity was closely linked to the language, especially for the exponents of the cabaret industry. Around 3,000 of them fled Berlin[1] and especially for Vienna’s political cabaret, as emigrated Berlin cabaret artists provided important and lasting contributions until the “brown terror” struck the city in 1938. For the “Lieben Augustin”, founded in 1931 by a young group around Stella Kadmon, for example, the collaboration of Hugo F. Koenigsgarten and Georg Hermann Mostar, who emigrated from Germany, later followed by Curt Bry, became important and enabled the Viennese cabaret scene to be politicized significantly 1933.[2] At the same time there was also a clear tendency towards longer pieces, for example in the form of Curt Bry’s “pseudo-historical review” Oh, du liebe Weltgeschichte. Bry also contributed the music himself.[3] But with the authoritarian government installed in 1934, a longer stay seemed undesirable for the politically engaged. Hanns Eisler’s stay in Vienna, for example, was very short, and Alban Berg advised Arnold Schönberg not to return to his hometown in view of the difficult political situation in Vienna.[4] This had anticipated his resignation from the National Socialists and had been in Paris since May 1933, where he returned spectacularly to Judaism and received the invitation from the Boston Malkin Conservatory, which led to his emigration to the United States. In view of the significantly increasing anti-Semitic propoganda in Vienna, to which Jewish emigrants were particularly exposed, it would have been difficult for Schoenberg to return there. Although Schoenberg’s deliberate engagement with Judaism took place under the impression of the rise of the National Socialists in Berlin, the foundations for this had been laid in Austria. One would have to remember Schönberg’s expulsion from the summer resort in Mattsee in Salzburg’s Flachgau due to his Jewish origin in 1921.[5] In Vienna, nothing had changed in the negative attitude of the public and criticism of his music.

The representatives of the entertaining genre who fled from Berlin to Vienna tried to enter the troubled operetta scene. With Axel an der Himmelstür, the Benatzky, Morgan, Schütz and Weigel team achieved a veritable success in 1936. As a conversation comedy based on the model of the French “operette legere”[6], the work contrasts clearly with the style of the late Lehar, but also with the patriotically tinged nostalgic tendency in the wake of Fritz Kreisler’s Sissy (1932), which had also taken over the Marischka-style revue. Robert Stolz, who had also returned to Vienna, demonstratively not taking advantage of the opportunities that would have been offered him after the expulsion of the Jewish representatives of the operetta industry in Berlin, appeared in 1935 with the revue operetta Servus, Servus! And in 1937 with Die Reise um die Welt and Der süßeste Schwindel der Welt. For Robert Stolz, too, Vienna was only a short exile; he emigrated to the United States via Switzerland and France, where he demonstrated his versatility. In contrast to Emmerich Kalman, who also emigrated from Vienna, to the United States, adhering to his traditional operetta language and thus barely succeeding, Robert Stolz established himself above all as a propagator of Viennese music; making an important contribution to Vienna’s positive image cultivation in the USA. For Paul Abraham, who returned to Budapest from Berlin, Vienna was the place where he tried to build on his early operetta successes. With fairy tales in the Grand Hotel (1934) and Dschainah (1935), both created in cooperation with the Viennese libretto specialists Alfred Grünwald and Fritz Löhner, he did not succeed. In 1938 he emigrated to Paris and from there to the United States, where he lived in poverty. He died in Hamburg in 1960 after years of suffering, after friends had brought him back to Germany in 1956.[7]

The Anschluß brought an end to much of the cabaret world in Vienna, whose lively and at times politically charged performances were heightened by the rich array of former Weimar talent filling its stages. The five year “safety net” provided by the Austrian capitol saw a plethora of Germany’s finest and brightest calling it home…all to come to an abrupt halt, sending the exiled Weimar community fleeing across the globe.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the Viennese theaters were among the most economically troubled ventures. Public subsidies were only granted to the large, federal theaters, forcing numerous smaller Viennese and provincial theaters to close. In 1931, the number of unemployed actors/actresses living in Vienna was around 1,500, with countless directors, stage designers, musicians, and authors out of work as well.[8]  Many moved to the German-speaking stages of Czechoslovakia, Switzerland or Germany. Due to its nature as Europe’s “Cabaret Capitol”, Berlin attracted the elite of the Viennese Cabaret Artists as early as the mid-1920s. With the rise of the National Socialists in Germany, many returned to Austria, accompanied by German artists seeking refuge from the Nazi crackdown on “decadence and amoral activities”. The resulting oversupply of talented artists created a Gilded Age of Viennese Cabaret. Among the former Viennese who returned home were Kurt Robitschek, the former owner/operator of Berlin’s famous KaDeKo, who took over the direction of the Wiener Kammerspiele and founded the “Bühne des Lachens”, his co-partner of the KaDeKo Paul Morgan, Alfred Polgar, Roda Roda, Oscar Karlweis, Fritz Grünbaum, Peter Hammerschlag, Fritzi Massary, Felix Bressart, Max Ehrlich and Szöke Szakall. Others came to Vienna via acquaintances or sponsors such as Gerhart Herrmann Mostar, Hugo F. Königsgarten, Hedda Zinner, Curt Bois, Curt Bry, Sonja Wronkow, Rolli Gero, Martin Magner, Reinhart and Otto Wallburg, the Comedian Harmonists and many more – or they  performed frequently between 1933 and 1938 as part of touring groups, as was the case with Ernst Busch, Kurt Gerron, Willy Rosen, Igor Pahlen, Paul O’Montis and Max Culpet:

“Of course I met many old friends here that I hadn’t seen since Berlin: Curt Bois, Max Nosseck, Ernö Verebes, Leonard Steckel, to name just a few. They had preferred to go to Austria – for language reasons. Every now and then one or the other had something to do: a small role in the theater, a few days of shooting, but it wasn’t paradise, much more far from it. […] Nobody seemed to think about the future, to understand that it was only a stopover, over which the brown thunderstorm slowly contracted.”[9]

Rudolf Nelson also managed to get a guest performance in Vienna through a befriended theatre agent. In April 1933, the famous Nelson revue was on view at the Ronacher in Vienna. Unfortunately, the reception given to the Ensemble was anything but friendly. The director of the Ronacher, Bernhard Labriola, had already received anonymous letters in which he was asked to cancel the guest performance of the “Berliner Jews”. The premiere was cancelled due to anti-Semitic riots. The police presence was increased to two hundred police officers at the third performance, but even this had to be terminated prematurely after the turmult.  As a result, Rudolf Nelson traveled with his ensemble to Switzerland. Increasingly, Vienna became a city resentful of its freshly minted firmament of exiled German performers.

Actors had to present a government permit if they wanted to perform at one of the theatres subject to rights restrictions, such as membership in the “Ring of Austrian Stage Artists”, the “Ring of Austrian Performing Musicians” or in the German Reichskulturkammer. Membership in the Reichskulturkammer was impossible due to the performer’s status as exiled and they could not join the Austrian organizations as foreigners, thus being “locked out” of the legitimate stage.

 Many people had no choice but to play in a new “genre” of theater named after the legal definition of a theater for the purposes of taxes: “Theatre für 49”, a stage which,due to the small number of spectator seats, was not classified as a theater. The “Cabaret or Kleinkunstbühne” genre of the “Theatre für 49” is not to be confused with the actual theater named  “Theatre für 49”.

“On April 13, 1934, E. Jubal opened the first stage in the theater sector with his THEATER FÜR 49 in an adapted cellar in Maria-Theresienstraße 4 in the first district, which according to legal definition was not a theater at all and whose name became a synonym for the Small stage movement of the thirties. E. Jubal was an immigrant from the east and liked to present himself as a Stanislawski student; Viennese criticism willingly attested to his productions “Stanislawski-esque” atmosphere, while Nina Körber, Jubal’s long-term partner and co-director of THEATER FÜR 49, somewhat relativized the autobiographical self-portrayal. The small stage, which survived until 1938, had an extremely ambitious literary program that also included world premieres. It opened with Oscar Wilde’s Florentine tragedy, followed by Moliere’s George Dandin. But the next productions were premieres and premieres: Joachim Ringelnatz ‘Seemannsballade Die Bottle, then Bärentanz, a play by the Czech playwright Vilem Werner, whose people on the ice floe soon became an international success, and the comedy “Rigorosum” by Ludwig Josef Anger . Certainly the premieres were largely devoted to forgotten authors, but there were exceptions. On March 3, 1936, the comedy “Love in Florence or The Inordinate Curiosity” by 24-year-old Fritz Hochwälder, then an unknown young author and skilled but unemployed decorator of Jewish origin, came out. On March 17, 1936, the New Free Press promptly praised Jubal’s ability to “discover talent”. In 1938, Hochwälder himself managed to escape to Switzerland, where he wrote his play “Das Heilige Experiment”, which premiered in exile at the Stadtbundtheater Biel-Solothum.”[10]

 At times,  about 25 cellar stages were playing in Vienna at the same time in the years up to 1938. Carl Merz called this a “miracle”- and also a typical Austrian miracle: because suddenly there was an audience, in my estimation about thirty to forty thousand people who looked at something like this, and about ten thousand who understood it”.[11]  Although many of the artists and writers were famous personalities, they did not have it easy in exile in Austria. Those who could not make it in Austria sometimes returned home out of desperation…even to Germany.

Returning to Germany meant restrictions for the returning emigrants, who would need a “legal”  stage on which to perform. This was offered by the theatres of the Jewish Cultural Federation. Rosa Valetti, for example, the founder of the Berlin “Kabaretts Größen wahn” (Cabaret of Great Delusions), emigrated to Austria in 1933, but played at the Kulturbundtheater in Berlin until July 1934. An official communication of the German Reich Minister for Propaganda and Enlightenment of March 5, 1934 urged a crackdown on returning female artists, after  “obscene to an increasing extent” that:

“the Non-Aryans, who had already disappeared and for the most part had apparently fled abroad, reappeared in theatres, varieties, cabaret, etc…”. It should not be possible »for the public to defend itself against the appearance of elements from which it believed it had already been freed.”[12]

Some of the cabarets in which the emigrants found shelter already existed, while others were re-established. An “emigrant theatre in the best sense of the word” was opened in 1927  by Oscar Teller in the cinema and theatre hall of the Porrhaus named the “Jewish-Political Cabaret” which polemicized Zionist sentiment against “red” and “black”, but above all against the assimilation of the Jew. The revue by Victor Berossi (pseudonym for Oscar Teller, Victor Schlesinger and Fritz  Stöckler)  “Jews out!” caused a special sensation. Contributors to the Cabaret were, in addition to Curt Jung and Friedrich Torberg, Jimmy Berg, Martin Miller, Franz  Mittler, Arthur Reichenbaum and Rost Safier. Oscar Teller organized a solo evening in 1933 for the Berliner Curt Bry, the house poet and composer of the »Katakombe” in Berlin, when he temporarily settled in Austria while on the run. The great success of his program soon enabled Bry to run his own night club in Vienna. He also worked for “Lieben Augustin” in Vienna, appeared with Trude Kolman in her cabaret “Der Sechste Himmel” and contributed music for the cabaret “Regenbogen”. “Lieben Augustin” was openeded on November 7, 1931 by Stella Kadmon in the basement of Cafe Prückel in Biberstraße 2.  In the first years, short cabaret numbers with an improvisational character were offered. The so-called “blitzen” – the spontaneous reaction of  poets, musicians and draughtsmen to the audience’s call – was one of the highlights of the performances. In addition to Stella Kadmon, the founding ensemble of the Augustin included the house author Peter Hammerschlag, the  “Quick Draw” Alexander Szekely, the house composer Fritz Spielmann as well as Fritz Eckhardt, Fritz Muliar, Leon Askin and Gusti Wolf. From 1933, some German emigrants joined Augustin, Gerhart Herrmann Mostar, who came from Germany, became the in-house author at the end of 1935. Hans Schlesinger, who worked as a director in Germany until 1930, wanted to create his own forum with the cabal “Der fröhliche Landmann” in the basement theater of Cafe Landtmann  in 1936 for his wife, the comedian and dancer Cilli Wang. “The Merry Countryman” could, however, only perform two programs. The “Kleinkunst im Kasinotheater”, or KIK for short was launched on 30 May 1898. It was re-established on December 1, 1934 in a nightclub at Walfischgasse 11. Since the ambience was too luxurious and too expensive, and the art lovers and guests were not, it had to close after four years. Among the artists who performed were members of the early “ABC” such as Erich Pohlmann, Charlotte Reichert, Eduard Linkers and Peter Wehle. It was directed by the novelist and playwright Stefan Wendt. Sonja Wronkow, who came to Vienna from the Berlin “Katakombe”, opened the cabaret “Sonja’s Plush Sofa” together with Rolli Gero, Additionally, the Marietta Bar, was run by Gerhard Bronner.

From about September 1935, Trude Kolmann also appeared in Vienna. Kolmann, who in Berlin, after the flight of Friedrich Hollaender, took charge of his “Tingel-Tangel”,  established the cabarets at the “Grand Hotel”, where she was on stage with Beate Moissi and Paul Morgan, and “Der Sechste Himmel”. The lyrics were contributed by Max Colpet.

The “Stachelbeere” played in the coffee house garden of the Döblingerhof in Billrothstraße. Rudolf Spitz and Hans Weigel wrote the lyrics, but the soul of this small-scale stage was the musician and composer Hans Horwitz, who was particularly loved by the audience for his musical stupidities, for example, the numbers “Lohenmaus und Fledergrin” or “Spring Voices on the Beautiful Blue Danube”. Grete Spohn, the dancer Hilde Sykora and Gertie Sitte performed in the “Stachelbeere”. The cabaret later moved to Cafe Colonnaden but eventually merged with the “Literature  at the  Naschmarkt”.

The “Kleinkunst in den Colonnaden” on Rathausplatz was founded by Renee von Bronneck and was followed by the “Stachelbeere”. Peter Hammerschlag and Leo Dankner were responsible as writers, and Ferdinand  Piesen was responsible for the musical formation. The show’s players are Cissy Kraner, Walter von Varndal and Eduard Linkers. This establishment, too, had to close after only two programs.

The “Literatur am Naschmarkt” opened on 3 November 1933 in Cafe Dobner. Founder was F. W. Stein,  owner of the association Bund jun ger Authors. The “Literatur” had strict artistic guidelines. Cheap jokes or random improvisation were not desired – scenic texts were preferred. In addition to Strindberg, Schnitzler, Nestroy and Jack Lon don, texts by Hans Weigel, Lothar  Metzel, Rudolf Spitz, Peter Hammerschlag and Rudolf Weys also found their way into the programs. Ferdinand Piesen and Walter Drix provided the musical framework. The “Stars” of the “Literatur am Naschmarkt” were Manfred Inger, Gerda Waschinsky, Carl Merz, Grete Heger, Hilde Krahl and Elisabeth Neumann. The high artistic level of the »Literatur am Naschmarkt” paid off: it was awarded the honorary title “Burgtheaterunter den Kleinkunstbühne.” Politically, the stage was largely liberal. The attitude was pro-Austrian and turned against any form of dictatorship. In the summer of 1936, the “Literatur” consisted of three ensembles. Directed by Peter Preses,  the Cafe Dobner played a summer program by Jura Soyfer, Friedrich Torberg and Franz Paul. A part of the ensemble travelled through Czechoslovakia with two selected programs under  the direction of Walter Engel. The third group played throughout the Austrian State.

In March 1934, the “ABC”,  the “Brettl” on Alsergrund, was launched in Cafe City in Porzellangasse 1. In Cafe City, a well-known artist’s café, the actors of the  Volks- und  der  Raimund theater were used. The idea of the owner, Gustl Goldmann, was to build a stage gratefully taken up by young actors, among them Ernst Hagen, Paul Retzer, Hans Sklenka, Erich Pohlmann, Franz Böheim and Otto Wegrostek.  The opening premiere was followed by stars such as Fritz Grünbaum, Kurt Lessen, Eduard Loibner and Hugo Knepler. The authors were Kurt Breuer and Hugo Wiener, the house authors of “Femina” and  “Simpl”.

From June 14, 1935, the “ABC” played in Cafe Arkaden at Universitätsstrasse 3, replacing the cabaret “Der Regenbogen” which was founded  there in 1934. Teddy Bill, Hans Lengsfelder, Hans Weigel and Hans Behal worked in the rainbow. After a brief pause in play, the latter took over the management of the stage in 1935. A criticism from this period mentioned as actors Fred Endriak, Kitty Mattfus (Kitty Mattern?), Curt Bry and Hugo F. Königsgarten. After the takeover by the »ABC«, this was called “ABC im Regenbogen”. Differences in the ensemble caused the artistic director, Hans Margulies, to try and establish a new ABC in the Cafe City. As this undertaking was not successful, he returned to the arcades.  The last three programs before the “connection” were played exclusively by the ensemble under the name “Regenbogen”, last but not least, to fake a new company and thus avoid the now stricter censorship. The participants appeared increasingly under pseudonyms: Jura Soyfer, for example, called himself Norbert Noll in the last  program. These measures served above all as protection against the authorities, who were not exactly sympathetic to the aggressive and political stance. Thus, on July 27, 1935, the Directorate of Public Security, on the notice of the Patriotic Front, instructed the Federal Police to examine the “ABC” for its “communist  tendency In a report by the federal police department dated September 22, 1935, the proximity to communism could not be confirmed after several reviews, but the “representations – as is generally the case with the so-called cabaret theaters” almost always contain political innuendo”.[13]

An artistic novelty of the “ABC” from 1936  onwards was the broad-based medium piece by Jura Soyfer, which guaranteed a certain dramatic speed and was decisive for the concise profile of the actors and directors working in the “ABC”. In February  1936 Rudolf Steinboeck took over the direction and the artistic performance alternately with Leo Askenasy  (= Leo Askin) and Herbert Berghof. Leon Askin, however, interrupted his work for the “ABC”  for six months to work as a director and showman at the Linz Landestheater. The composer in-house of the “ABC” was the composer and lyricist Jimmy Berg, who returned from Berlin in 193l, 20 and took over the musical direction of the “ABC” cabaret in February 1935. He also kept afloat by composing and writing hits songs, tangos and foxtrots. In order to be able to better sell his works, he chose “deutsche” pseudonyms such as Jimmy Berg, W. Berg, Otto Forst-Berg, Helmut Raabe and Raimund Danberg instead of his “Jewish” sounding name Jimmy Weinberg. Berg’s attempt to establish himself as a music publisher also falls into this period and will get some “hits”. In February 1934, the month of the civil war in Austria, his hit “Homeland  Austria,  Father City of Vienna” appeared. In 1935, his Foxtrot “Erst kommt die Wochenschau” won an award at a competition organized by RAVAG Vienna and the Kapellmeister-Union of Austria. The agitation of the political situation had aroused the political awareness of the otherwise rather apolitical musician. The artistic collaboration with Jura Soyfer was a special stroke of luck. Berg wrote the music and lyrics for a total of seven programs of the  “ABC”, among them “Im ABC – D-Zug”, “Zwichen Himmel und Erde” and “Wienerisches-Allzuwienerisches”.

Contradictions between Austrians and Germans

Max Colpet warned his fellow actors in exile in Austria:

“Advised [them] to skedaddle while it was still possible to get out before the Nazis caught them here. They went on to the coffee house, drove further out to the Heuriger, sang their songs cheerfully and carefree … “[14]

German authors and small artists also tried to warn from the stage of the impending danger of the German Reich with their pieces. In contrast to their Austrian colleagues, they were more concerned with the events in Nazi Germany and, not least, made Austrian authors more strongly involved in political statements – for example, through the “Legend of the Nameless Soldiers” written by G. H. Mostar and presented in 1935 by Herbert  Berghof in the program  “Seifenblasen” at the “Lieber  Augustin”. The music came from Franz Eugen Klein using the melody of the “Good comrade”. The text referred to Hitler’s instruction to change the names of the twelve thousand German soldiers of Jewish faith who died in the First World War and to have them removed from the war memorials. In the memory of Rudolf Weys, “everyone was sitting there like they’ve been slain.” It was only after a second that a storm of applause broke out, such as small art rarely experienced “.[15]

The programs became more serious and more literal, and not only in reference to the Latin, satirical stages. Mostar introduced the “journalistisch-aktuelle Element” as a novelty at “Lieben Augustin”. The reviews of Mostar’s Lysistrata adaptation, for example, say that his “works […] bring a new fresh move into Viennese cabaret art. They are witty, sharp-tongued, combative… written by a courageous man who has attitude and dares to say something”.[16]  G. H. Mostar and Hugo F. Königsgarten were the authors who worked for the “Lieben Augustin” from 1934 on. The house author Peter Hammerschlag subsequently left the ensemble. The onset of “competition” between Germans and Austrians somewhat fertilized the programs, since the texts on the stages that had existed since the beginning of the 1930s were already “worn out”. However, the ideas of the German authors and showmen could not always be transplanted without further ado; in Vienna, the audience rather accepted the program parts and ideas of the “österreichischen” remigrants.  One nevertheless had common themes – in contrast to the later  exile in foreign-speaking countries, as for example in the USA, where the American audience neither understood the nature of the performance nor the “sophistication” of the Europeans. Whoever I would like to adapt, Curt Bry said, to “that foolish spirit that tells the truth, because it is cheaper than the lies which all the world buys and pays for it” also succeeded.  Problems were always herd with the  dialect, the language coloring and the point of view, both from the “German” actors and authors as well as from the Viennese audience: the Austrian Rudolf  Weys, for example, wrote the texts “on love” of the “emphatically North German” actress Traute Witt.  From the point of view of the Austrians, traditional prejudices against the “Prussians” probably existed,  noting the enormous discipline among the Germans and the uniformity of the ensembles. Weys recalled the work of Martin Magner, the former director of the Municipal Stages in Wroclaw, as director of the Kleinkunstbühne “Literatur am Naschmarkt”:  He:

“Staged the programs with harshness and discipline, as if it were about the classic premiere of a state stage. One couldn’t be late a minute, and even the smallest solo was filed for many hours. In addition, Magner took care right from the start to create a properly functioning small cabaret ensemble”.[17]

The contrasts could not really be overcome in later exile, but the Viennese Vogue, for example, developed as a common denominator between the Viennese and the German cabaret artists in New York. It was easier to market as a trademark in the USA than the Berlin subject. In Austria, the newly established cabarets had already built networks that were significantly different from the previous ones that were determined to collaborate with Germany; as a result, Trude Kolmann worked mainly in emigration with Curt Bois, Max Colpet, Paul Morgan and Kurt Robitschek. While the German actors and authors mostly appeared or wrote under their real names, the Austrians mostly used several pseudonyms.

Viennese cabaret was largely in opposition to Austro-fascism and National Socialism. After February 193l all texts were subject to censorship, so authors and actors had to express their criticism in an encrypted manner. In March 1936, the Basler National-Zeitung wrote:

“Anyone who goes into a Viennese cabaret today need not fear that the conferencier, for example, will now allow the whole ode to be approved by the police, in line with the same humor; these Viennese cabarets {…], which are forced to a finer, indirect wit, fulfill their function as valves of public opinion with as much tact as humor. […] In general, the theater energy, which still exists in Vienna today, seems to have fled to the city’s many cabaret theaters, which offer shelter to the play instinct but also to idealism.”[18]

As a target of further control and monopolies by the Patriotic Front, in the sense of a cultural-political totalitarianism, the “cleaning of the theater business” was laid down in May 1937, which meant not only the elimination of politically undesirables, but also Jewish artists. The latter could only be implemented after the “Anschluss”, but then occurred very quickly. The Vienna edition of the Völkischer Beobachter already formulated its postulate a year later:

“We still don’t give up hope, the hope that we will get rid of all of you. And when the artists who used to be happy in beautiful Vienna will have found themselves in Tel Aviv and their voices will swing through the ether through an all-Jewish transmitter, then we will be pleased – for the first time – because of the great distance of your voice.[19]

The day of the “Anschluss” must be the closing point of the heyday of the Vienna cabaret – the persecution by the National Socialists marked a turning point that brought about an irretrievable loss of artists and active cabaret; even if there was a new foundation of cabaret that appeared on exile stages, which were to carry on the tradition of Viennese – and also Berlin – cabaret.[20]

[1] Lionel Richard, Cabaret – Kabarett. Von Paris nach Europa. Leipzig 1993, s. 230f.

[2] Veigl, Lachen im Keller, S. 178-187.

[3] Veigl, Lachen im Keller, S. 181.

[4] Freitag, Schönberg, S. 133.

[5] Nuria Nono-Schoenberg, Arnold Schönberg, S. 192.

[6] Klotz, Operette, S. 239.

[7] Verdrängte Musik, S. 208.

[8] Walter Rösler : Gehn ma halt a bisserl unter. Kabarett in Wien von den Anfängen bis heute. 2. Auflage. Berlin: 1lenschel 1993, S. 157. Vgl. auch: Theophil Antonicek: Kurz vor dem »Anschluß«. Die Situation der Künstler im Licht der staatlichen Unterstützungspraxis. In: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Musik (l lg.): Beiträge ’90. Österreichische Musiker im Exil – Kolloquium 1988. Kassel, Basel, London: Bärenreiter 1990 (Beiträge der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Musik 8), S. 11- 21, hier S. JJf

[9] Max Colpet: „Es wird ein Wein Sein, und wir werd’n nimmer sein.“ Wien 1938. In: Max Colpet: Sag mir wo die Jahre sind. Erinnerungen eines unverbesserlichen Optimisten. Gütersloh: Langen Müller 1976, S. 93-96, hier S. 93.

[10] Kabarett und Kleinkunstbühne – Hilde Haider-Pregler, Trapp, Frithjof: Handbuch des deutschsprachigen Exiltheaters 1933-45 132

[11] Ulrike Mayer: Theater für 49 in Wien 1934 bis 1938. In: Ebd., S. 138- 147, hier S. 139

[12] Dichtarier auf deutschen Bühnen. In: Frankfurter Zeitung, 6. 3. 1934. Zit. nach: Joseph Wulf: Theater und Film im Dritten Reich. Eine Dokumentation. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin: Ullstein 1989, S. 260.

[13] Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, AdR, BKA: Lindenbaum Walter, 347831/S tBGD 35.

[14] Colpet (Anm. 6),S. 95

[15] Rudolf Weys: Wien bleibt Wien und das geschieht ihm ganz recht. Wien: o. V. 1974, S. 109.

[16] Neue Freie Presse (Wien), 23. 1. 1935. Zit. nach: Reisner (Anm. 3), S. 30.

[17] New York Times, 19. 6. 1939.Vgl. Reisner (Anm. 3), s. 57

[18] National-Zeitung (Basel), März 1936, Feuilleton. Zit. nach: Rudolf Weys: Cabaret und Kabarett in Wien. Wien,  München: Jugend und Volk 1970, S. 47.

[19] Völkischer Beobachter (Wiener Ausgabe),17. 5. 1938 121

[20] Thumser, Regina, »Kümmere dich nicht um ihren Hass, denn ihr Heil sind Kot und Würmer. Fahre in die Stadt Wien, welche einst dich Liebling nannte.« Kabarett und Kleinkunst in Österreich 1933 bis 1938