Fritz Grünbaum

Fritz Grünbaum ( 7 of April of 1880 – 14 of January of 1941 ) was a cabaret performer, librettist of operettas and song writer, director, actor and emcee of Austrian nationality.


Born in Brno , in the present Czech Republic , his real name was Franz Friedrich Grünbaum. In his childhood and adolescence lived with in Brno with his family, dedicated to the commerce of works of art. At the age of 18 he studied at the law school in Vienna , earning his doctorate, although he became more and more interested in literature. After his studies he began to work as master of ceremonies in the Vienna Cabaret Die Hoelle, where he made his first performance in the operetta “Phryne” in 1906. From 1903 he composed his first librettos collaborating, among others, with Robert Bodanzky , and Participating as an actor in minor roles in many plays and magazines represented in Vienna.

Until the beginning of World War I (in which he volunteered in 1915) he traveled to Berlin – the first time in 1907 to perform in Chat Noir -, working as a master of ceremonies in the theaters of Rudolf Nelson .

In 1910 Grünbaum was mourned, wounded, with an imperial official whom he had previously slapped, since the first, in the restaurant “Hölle”, proclaimed an anti-Semitic slogan.

In 1914 Grünbaum performed for the first time in Simpl, the legendary cabaret of Vienna, where he worked many times thereafter. Along with Karl Farkas developed in 1922 the “Doppelconférence”, presented in the “Budapester Orpheum” of Vienna.

Grünbaum, motivated by the frenzy of World War I, voluntarily enlisted, and in the spring of 1916 he fought on the Italian front, although he became disenchanted with the experience, being drawn from then on by pacifist ideas.

Fritz Grünbaum was married three times. His first wife was Carli Nagelmüller (1908-1914), the second Mizzi Dressl, a colleague by profession, and the third, with whom he married in 1919, was Lilli Herzl, with whom he remained united until the moment she was Deported to Minsk .

Grave of Grünbaum in Vienna

From 1926 Grünbaum worked in the Bürgertheater of Vienna, although its activities continued between horse and Berlin. Thus, in Berlin he acted in the cinema and wrote light songs and scripts, and in Vienna acted in different cabarets.

In 1933, the texts that Grünbaum wrote for his works in Vienna, became increasingly political and more antifascist. On March 10, 1938, the day German troops entered Austria, Grünbaum worked for the last time with Karl Farkas at the Simplicissimus cabaret. After that, they were banned from acting. The next day he tried to flee to Czechoslovakia , but he and his wife were returned to the border. For a time he lived hidden in Vienna, but was betrayed and taken to the Dachau concentration camp . Later they were transferred to Buchenwald , and then again to Dachau. He died in Dachau on January 14, 1941 after having acted for one last time for the other prisoners in New Year’s Eve. Their remains are buried in the central cemetery of Vienna .

Grünbaum was awarded a star on the cabaret’s Walk of Fame.

Fritz Grünbaum’s art collection

Egon Schiele: Tote Stadt III 1911, former Collection Grünbaum, today Leopold Museum of Vienna

Throughout his life, Fritz Grünbaum was a well-known collector of art, especially Austrian modern art , whose works were exhibited in famous catalogs and exhibitions. Its collection contained more than 400 pieces, 80 of them signed by Egon Schiele (1890-1918). The collection disappeared in the Nazi era , and 25% of it appeared in the art market in the early 1950s through the Swiss dealer Eberhard Kornfeld . The fate of the rest of the collection is unknown.

Jobs (selection)

Operets and theatrical works

  • Peter und Paul reisen ins Schlaraffenland , with Robert Bodanzky , music by Franz Lehár , 1906
  • Phyme , with Robert Bodanzky, music of Edmund Eysler , 1906
  • Die Dollarprinzessin , with Alfred Maria Willner , music by Leo Fall , 1907
  • Mitislaw, der Moderne , with Robert Bodankzky, music by Franz Lehár, 1906
  • Der Liebeswalzer , with Robert Bodanzky, 1908
  • Miß Dudelsack , with Hans Reichert, music by Rudolf Nelson , 1909
  • Das Musikantenmädel , with Wilhelm Sterk , music by Georg Jarno , 1910
  • Der Zigeunerprimas , with Julius Wilhelm , music by Imre Kálmán Koppstein , 1912
  • Sturmidyll , 1914
  • Mein Annerl , with Wilhelm Sterk, music by Georg Jarno , 1916
  • Der Favorit , with Wilhelm Sterk, music by Robert Stolz , 1916
  • Ein modernes Mädel , with Wilhelm Sterk, music by Leon Jessel , 1918
  • Die Czikosbaroness , music of Georg Jarno , 1919
  • Des Königs Nachbarin , with Wilhelm Sterk, music by Leon Jessel, 1923
  • Traumexpress , with Karl Farkas , 1931
  • Die Schöpfung
  • Die Hölle im Himmel
  • Der leise Weise


  • Dort unterm Baum , Music by Willy Kunkel , 1912
  • Henriette , music by Richard Fall , 1927
  • Draußen in Schönbrunn , with Karl Farkas , music by Ralph Benatzky, 1926
  • Nimm dir nur ja keine Frau vom Mississippi , music of Richard Fall, 1927
  • Wenn ich in deine falschen Augen schaue … , music by Richard Fall, 1927
  • Ich hab das Fräuln Helen baden sehn , music of Fred Raymond

Filmography (actor)

  • Der Raub der Mona Lisa (1931)
  • Meine Frau, die Hochstaplerin (1931)
  • Der brave Sünder (1931) – Full cast and crew
  • Arm wie eine Kirchenmaus (1931)
  • Einmal möcht ‘ich keine Sorgen haben (1932)
  • Ein Lied, ein Kuß, ein Mädel (1932)
  • Mensch ohne Namen (1932)
  • Es wird schon wieder besser (1932)
  • Mädchen zum Heiraten (1932)

Bibliography and sources

  • Felix Czeike: Historisches Lexikon Wien Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-218-00544-2
  • Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz und Marie-Theres Arnbom, Grüß mich Gott! Fritz Grünbaum 1880-1941, Brandstätter, 2005, ISBN 3-85498-393-X
  • Handbuch österreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren jüdischer Herkunft 18. bis 20. Jahrhundert . Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna. KG Saur, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-598-11545-8 .
  • Walter Fritz: Im Kino erlebe ich die Welt – 100 Jahre Kino und Film in Österreich. Vienna, 1996, S. 146, ISBN 3-85447-661-2
  • Viktor Rotthaler: Frühling für Hitler. Dani Levys historische Vorbilder Frankfurter Rundschau, 13. 1. 2007, S. 15
  • “Das Cabaret ist mein Ruin” – 2 CDs, Ed. Mnemosyne, Verl. Für Alte Hüte & Neue Medien, Neckargemünd / Vienna , February 2005 – ISBN 3-934012-23-X
  • Hans Veigl, “Entwürfe für ein Grünbaum-Monument, Fritz Grünbaum und das Wiener Kabarett”, ÖKA, Graz / Vienna, 2001 – ISBN 3-9501427-0-3
  • Fritz Grünbaum, “Hallo, hier Grünbaum!”, Löcker Verlag, Vienna / Munich , 2001 – ISBN 3-85409-330-6
  • Fritz Grünbaum, “Die Schöpfung und andere Kabarettstücke. Mit einer kabarettistischen Vorrede von Georg Kreisler”, Löcker Verlag, Vienna / Munich, 1984 – ISBN 3-85409-071-4
  • Fritz Grünbaum, Der leise Weise. Gedichte und Monologue aus dem Repertoire. Herausgegeben von Hans Veigl. Vienna 1992 – ISBN 3-218-00552-3
  • Ernst Federn, (1999): Fritz Grünbaums 60. Geburtstag im Konzentrationslager. In: Roland Kaufhold (Hg.) (1999): Ernst Federn: Versuche zur Psychologie des Terrors. Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag), S. 95-97.
  • Ulrich Liebe: Verehrt, verfolgt, vergessen: Schauspieler als Naziopfer. Quadriga, Weinheim 1992, 3-88679-197-1
  • Sophie Lillie: Was einmal war. Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens . Czernin Verlag, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-7076-0049-1 .


  • This work contains a derivative translation of Fritz Grünbaum from the German Wikipedia, published by its editors under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License .
  • This work contains a derivative translation of Fritz Grünbaum from Wikipedia in English, published by its editors under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License .