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The Sun And Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

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When I first arrived at the DLAM and introduced myself to the archivists, one of them said to me, “We’re so glad you are here for Salka. A vital presence in the golden age of Hollywood, Salka Viertel is long overdue for her own moment in the spotlight"--,Provided by publisher. Viertel was a classical stage actress in her own right for 20 years in Germany during the Weimar era. If the opposite was true as well, that Garbo may have seen Salka onstage when the former was in Berlin during the mid-1920s, Rifkind does not say. She typifies the mostly Jewish immigrants who fled continental Europe and landed in Hollywood during the rise of Hitler.

While Vier­tel was thir­ty-nine and there­fore not ​ “cast­ing couch” mate­r­i­al by the time she arrived in Hol­ly­wood, she was a woman, and women still had to cur­ry male egos to get work in the stu­dios, even as they were the back­bone of the indus­try work­force. A study of a complex, openhearted woman who had a key role in saving the displaced while shaping mid-20th-century Hollywood. While she was able to save her mother, a brother, and a sister, other members of her family, including another brother, were murdered during the Shoah . Still, dur­ing her exten­sive career, her pay­checks sup­port­ed her own fam­i­ly, her family’s extend­ed rela­tions, and count­less refugees. James Rudin is the former head of the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs and author of seven books, most recently , Pillar of Fire: A Biography of Stephen S.Bilski and Emily Braun’s essay about Salka Viertel, “The Salon in Exile,” from Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversation have all begun to fill in the blanks.

is especially noteworthy, as is her examination of Viennese modernism, Berthold Viertel: Eine Biografie der Wiener Moderne. Such vituperation may seem extreme toward a woman who titled her memoir The Kindness of Strangers and who is remembered, if at all, for inviting people to parties on Sunday afternoons. Then a decisive encounter at the home of émigré German director Ernst Lubitsch changed the direction of her professional career. In Santa Monica, she made it her mission to provide a refuge for them in her own home and to absorb them into her social and professional network, all to help them survive in a wholly unfamiliar new world.At the same time that Viertel was writing Queen Christina (1933) and Anna Karenina (1935) for Garbo, she was hosting Sunday afternoon gatherings for European émigrés at her Santa Monica home. was directing on One in his retinue correctly predicted that Salka, then 39, would not find much work as an actress in Hollywood, where her stage presence and talent would be trumped by the more highly valued Hollywood assets of youth and beauty. She has also been a contributor to the Los Angeles Times , Washington Post , Times Literary Supplement , American Scholar , and other publications. Viertel was born Salomea Sara Steuermann in Sambor, a city then in the province of Galicia, [2] which was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but today is in western Ukraine. Donna Rifkind ‘s reviews appear frequently in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times Book Review .

Or that it was Marta Feuchtwanger who planned and implemented the escape of her novelist husband Lion Feuchtwanger from the concentration camp at Les Milles in southern France at the end of the summer of 1940. Cari Beauchamp’s Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood; Erin Hill’s Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production; Evelyn Juers’s House of Exile: The Lives and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann; and Emily D. While her day job was writing for Garbo (most famously, “Queen Christina”), by 1938 her all-day-and-night job was ministering to the exile community, helping members find housing and jobs and negotiate the mazes of U.JBC’s print lit­er­ary jour­nal Paper Brigade pro­vides a 200-page snap­shot of the Jew­ish lit­er­ary land­scape in Amer­i­ca and abroad. One of her most successful roles was Marthy in the German version of Anna Christie, which she took over at the request of Garbo [2] (it was originally intended for Marie Dressler).

Berthold was frequently directing plays in New York City and Europe for long stretches of time with his mistresses. Cari Beauchamp’s Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood ; Erin Hill’s Never Done: A History of Women’s Work in Media Production ; Evelyn Juers’s House of Exile: The Lives and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann ; and Emily D.The questions Salka asked herself about one’s responsibility in the face of bigotry and exclusion are the same questions we’re asking today. She rubbed elbows with the famous and not-so-famous, and it didn’t matter, Salka Viertel would find a way to connect with anybody. S. citizen in February of 1939, only months before the official outbreak of war in Europe on September 1 of that year. Chock-full of scandalous affairs and wartime atmosphere, this sparkling account brings overdue attention to a woman who helped make Hollywood’s golden age possible.

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