| About | About
Feuchtwanger | Archives | Exhibitions
Researching German Exiles | Feuchtwanger
Society | Villa
Aurora | Writings | Hours
German Exiles in Southern California
Berthold Viertel (1885-1953) & Salka Viertel (1889-1978)
Berthold Viertel and his wife, Salka Viertel, came to Los Angeles
in 1928 planning to stay for just three years. Berthold wanted to
gain experience working for the booming movie industry and the couple
hoped to save enough money to return to Europe comfortably well-off.
For four years, he worked for Fox Company, then Paramount and Warner
was a respected theater director and writer and Salka a well-known
stage actress. With the uncertain political situation in Germany in
1932, the Viertels decided to stay in the United States with their
children rather than return to an uncertain future in Europe. Although
Salka Viertel was not able to pursue her acting career in America,
she began writing screen plays. She worked for MGM Studio writings
several scripts that developed into films, her most famous starring
her friend Greta Garbo, such as Queen Christina (1933).
The Viertels house was an important gathering place for émigré
community. One of the most well known was the 70th birthday celebration
of Heinrich Mann in 1941. Salka Viertel was
also active aiding those still trapped in Europe.
to find his niche in the American theater world or in the movie
industry, Berthold Viertel left Los Angeles for long periods
of time to write and work in New York and London. In 1949, Berthold
Viertel returned to Europe for good.
The Viertels lived first on Fairfax Avenue, near Laurel Canyon.
In June 1928 they rented a beach house at 165 Mabery Road
in Santa Monica. This charming cottage cost them $900 for the
three summer months. Eventually the Viertels bought the house
and Salka Viertel lived there for several decades.
Before she returned to Klosters, Switzerland, where Salka Viertel spent her last years, she lived
at 262 S. Carmelina Avenue in Brentwood.
Salka Viertel's years in Southern California: 1928-1970.
Jansen. Berthold Viertel: Leben und künsterlerische Arbeit
im Exil. New York: Peter Lang, 1992.
Viertel. The Kindness of Strangers. New York: Holt, Rinehart,
and Winston, 1969.
more information contact the Feuchtwanger