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

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

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

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S. military intelligence officer and later wrote the screenplay for the 1951 award-winning film “Decision Before Dawn,” as well as “The African Queen” and other notable films. Many were Jewish and many were world-renowned figures in the arts, most notably composer Arnold Schoenberg, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Thomas Mann, stage and film impresario Max Reinhardt, playwright Bertolt Brecht and screen legend Marlene Dietrich.

Berthold was frequently directing plays in New York City and Europe for long stretches of time with his mistresses. Salka increased her activist work on behalf of exiles, funding relatives to escape Europe, and even more friends of friends fleeing Nazi persecution and trying to make their way in the US. A vital presence in the golden age of Hollywood, Salka Viertel is long overdue for her own moment in the spotlight"--,Provided by publisher. 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.It was just one woman’s response to the events of her day—events that, clear as they may seem in hindsight, were as bewildering in their time as those in our time are to us. It is more often in the imaginative literature about Hollywood and the 1930s exiles, rather than in the histories, that women play prominent roles and emerge as fully fleshed characters: Anna Trautwein in Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel Paris Gazette , for example; or Erich Maria Remarque’s heroines in Shadows in Paradise and The Night in Lisbon ; and Salka herself, who appears in fictional form in Joseph Kanon’s Stardust , Elizabeth Frank’s Cheat and Charmer, Gavin Lambert’s Inside Daisy Clover , Christopher Hampton’s Tales from Hollywood, Irwin Shaw’s short story “Instrument of Salvation,” and, fleetingly, in the film The Way We Were . Queen Christina” (1933) ranks with “Camille” (1936) and “Ninotchka” (1939) as one of Garbo’s three greatest sound films.

Salka Viertel has the double distinction, during her lifetime and after, of being both maligned and dismissed.In 1953 she was unable to travel to Europe and see (by then, her ex-husband) Berthold before he died.

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