Joseph Schmidt

Joseph Schmidt (Davideny, Empire Austro – Hungarian , 4 of March of 1904 – Hinwil , Switzerland , 16 of November of 1942 ) was a tenor Austro-Romanian, of ease in the high register holder of an intuitive and easy song.

Son of orthodox Jews , from very young sang in choirs and could develop his talent for the song. He wanted to make a musical career and his mother supported him from the beginning, but not his father.

During World War I moved to Czernowitz , and at the age of 20 had his first opportunity in a concert.

By efforts of his uncle, Leo Engel, arrived in Berlin in 1928 . Due to his short stature he had limitations for the opera house (it was 1,50 m). But it was the radio that gave him immense fame in Germany.

Between 1929 and 1933, Schmidt sang in more than 37 operas for Radio Berlin, becoming known as “the tenor of the people”.

Thanks to his success he debuted in the theater with La Boheme in 1939 and filmed several films. One of them, titled A song goes around the world , was thought for him.

The Nazis forbade him to perform in Germany and Austria, continued to sing in Belgium, Holland and France regularly.

At the beginning of World War II , he moved to the unoccupied zone of France. When all of France was occupied by the army Nazis , he fled to Switzerland . Sank of exhaustion in the street where he was arrested and accused of being an illegal immigrant.

He was admitted to the Girenbad refugee camp in the municipality of Hinwil , canton of Zurich , where his fragile health did not allow him to survive.

He was buried in the Friesenberg cemetery near Zurich .


Alfred A. Fassbind: Joseph Schmidt – Sein Lied ging um die Welt, Römerhof-Verlag, Zürich 2012, ISBN 978-3-905894-14-1 , dazu : 1 Beilage-CD, St. Gallen: Sonimex, 2012, alle Titel Gesungen von Joseph Schmidt, Tenor. Titelverzeichnis im Buch (4 P 347)