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           Max Ehrlich in the Rudolf Nelson Revue, Ronacher Theater Vienna 1933

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Forced by the Nazis in 1933 to flee Germany, Rudolf Nelson obtains a guest engagement at the Ronacher Theater in Vienna through a theater-agent friend. For the occasion, he recrutes a new troupe which inclues Max Ehrlich as guest star.

However, anti-Semitism also is rampant in Vienna, so that, even prior to the opening, the Ronacher's director, Bernhard Labriola, receives anonymous letters warning him to "cancel his show of Berlin Jews".

Nazis then interrupt the April 17th premier. As Max Ehrlich begins speaking, the first hissing and whistling immediately begin. Ehrlich is irritated; but he continues talking and doesn't let the hooligans stop him ... whereupon loud howling, screaming and booing breaks out.

Numerous persons from the audience - afraid of what will happen next - flee the theater. The performance is ended, and rioting accompanied by screams of "Jews out! Jews out!" fills the room.

With that, the centuries old Vienese tradition of "Live and let live" has come to an abrupt end."

By the third evening, the already enormous police detail already assigned to the theater is increased to 200 uniformed officers. However, despite this, there are serious interruptions and altercations amongst the spectators forcing the show as well as the troupe's entire engagement to end early.  


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                                 Last modified: January 5th 2012