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'Das Laterndl' theatre: various papers (microfilm)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 599b
Held at: Wiener Library
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Full title: 'Das Laterndl' theatre: various papers (microfilm)
Date(s): 1930s-1940s
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 170 frames
Name of creator(s): 'Das Laterndl' theatre


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Laterndl theatre opened on 21 June 1939 at the address of the Austrian Centre, 126 Westbourne Terrace. It was conceived of as a Kleinkunstbühne. Kleinkunst was a term created in the 1930s for a type of anti-Nazi cabaret. It is described as being at the serious end of the comic market, and whilst it included many of the elements common to cabaret, it didn't include the more frivolous and bohemian.

Martin Miller was responsible for production as well as being one of the main character actors. The writers were Franz Hartl, Hugo Königsgarten, Rudolf Spitz, and Hans Weigel. Kurt Manschinger dealt with the music, décor was by Carl Josefovics and costumes by Käthe Berl. The actors were Lona Cross, Greta Hartwig, Willy Kennedy, Jaro Klüger, Fritz Schrecker, Sylvia Steiner and Marianne Walla.

The theatre moved to 153 Finchley Road and then to 69 Eton Avenue by November 1941. One of the most famous achievements associated with 'das Laterndl' was the Martin Miller's spoof Hitler broadcast on April Fools' Day, 1940, in which Hitler claimed that Columbus had discovered America with the aid of German science, giving Germany territorial claim. A text of the speech is included in this collection.


Scope and content/abstract:

Material relating to the Austrian exile theatre, 'Das Laterndl', including performance programmes, press cuttings and reviews, photographs, Fritz Gross poem dedicated to Jura, 'Zyklus'. Also included in the collection is material relating to the life and work of Jura Soyfer, a young Austrian communist party member who was recognised as leading social commentator in the 1930s and who was arrested after the Austrian Anschluss in 1938 and died in Buchenwald in 1939.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
German, English

System of arrangement:

Filmed in no discernible order

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Hanna Norbert, wife of Martin Miller

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
November 2007

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