Baum, Vicki, 1888-1960

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From the description of Vicki Baum papers, 1929-1953. (University at Albany). WorldCat record id: 84085248

Born (1888) and raised in Vienna, Vicki Baum first published stories as a teenager but then focused on musical studies at the Vienna Conservatory, where she made her professional debut in 1907. Shortly thereafter she met first husband, the writer Max Prels. Around the same time she won a juried prize for a story appearing in a Munich journal. By 1911 her marriage to Prels had fallen apart, and in 1913 their divorce was finalized. By 1914 she moved to Darmstadt to play in the orchestra with future husband Richard Lert, whom she married in 1916. During the 1920s she rose in prominence as a popular novelist, and in 1926 she moved to Berlin after being offered a job as an editor at the major book and periodical publisher Ullstein. Her novel Menschen im Hotel was so popular that it was adapted into a Broadway show in 1931, and later into the Hollywood classic film Grand Hotel . While on a promotional tour in the United States for this Broadway adaptation, she was offered a job as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Influenced by the increasingly hostile political climate in Germany, she decided to accept the job and remain in the United States. Lert joined her, and eventually became conductor of the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra. Although more of her novels were adapted for the screen and she secured a number of screenwriting jobs, she never enjoyed again enjoyed the level of success and celebrity which she experienced with Menschen im Hotel . She died of leukemia at home in the Hollywood Hills in 1960.

Carl Heinz Ostertag was born in 1910 in Stuttgart, Germany, and studied fine arts, art history, dance, and music at the Sorbonne, the University of Vienna, and elsewhere. By 1937 he had left Germany and Austria for England, where he worked as a ballet dancer, but by 1942 he had relocated to the United States. There he seems to have been involved in the military and worked briefly for the Office of War Information, before returning to the arts. He and Baum reportedly traveled in Asia together during the 1940s, and in 1950 he became a translator of Baum's novels. During the 1950s he traveled extensively in South and East Asia, and upon returning to the United States he took up various curatorial and teaching positions, mostly in California.

From the guide to the Vicki Baum Collection, 1920-1983, (Leo Baeck Institute Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. Edmond Pauker papers, 1923-1959. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Souvenir programs of motion pictures, 1915-1978. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Marta Mierendorff papers, 1933-1985 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Edmond Pauker papers, 1923-1959 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Felix Guggenheim papers, 1941-1976 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. Edmond Pauker papers, 1910-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Mierendorff, Marta. Marta Mierendorff papers, 1933-1985. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
creatorOf Vicki Baum Collection, 1920-1983 Leo Baeck Institute Archives
creatorOf Baum, Vicki, 1888-1960. Vicki Baum papers, 1929-1953. University at Albany, University Libraries
referencedIn Edmond Pauker papers, 1910-1957 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Samuel and Bella Spewack Papers, ca.1920-1980 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Schauffler, Robert Haven, 1879-1964. Correspondence, 1872-1964. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Guggenheim, Felix. Felix Guggenheim papers, 1941-1976. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. Edmond Pauker papers, 1898-1960. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Edmond Pauker papers, 1898-1960 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Spewack, Samuel and Bella. Papers, ca.1920-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Robert Haven Schauffler Correspondence, TXRC96-A17., 1872-1964 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bles, Geoffrey. person
associatedWith Doubleday, Doran & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Doubleday, Nelson. person
associatedWith Elder, Donald B. person
associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
correspondedWith Guggenheim, Felix person
correspondedWith Guggenheim, Felix. person
associatedWith Leonard, Mary. person
associatedWith Lert, Richard, 1885-1980 person
associatedWith McCormick, Ken. person
associatedWith Mierendorff, Marta. person
associatedWith Molnár, Ferenc, 1878-1952 person
associatedWith Ostertag, Carl Heinz person
associatedWith Pauker, Edmond, ca. 1880-1962. person
associatedWith Schauffler, Robert Haven, 1879-1964 person
associatedWith Spewack, Samuel, 1899-1971 person
associatedWith Spewack, Samuel and Bella. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Publishers and publishing
Jewish women authors
Jews, Austrian
Women novelists
Women screenwriters
World War, 1939-1945


Birth 1888-01-24

Death 1960-08-29






Ark ID: w6rv1dmp

SNAC ID: 56204932