Richard Fall

Richard Fall ( Jevicko , 3 of April of 1882 – Auschwitz , mid-January of 1945 ) 1 was a conductor and composer Czech Austrian operetta, of Jewish descent .


Richard Fall was born in the village of Jevíčko (renamed Gewitsch in German), 16 km north of the town of Boskovice , in the district of Blansko , in the region of Southern Moravia , which is currently within the Czech Republic , But which was then invaded by the Austrian Empire , about 260 km east of Prague . His mother’s name was Flora Fall. 1 Richard learned music with his father Moritz Fall (August 5, 1848 – Vienna , July 22, 1922), 1 director of military bands and Czech composer. 2

His two older brothers were musicians:

  • Leo Fall (1873-1925), the most famous of the family. He composed mainly operettas; Several of them were internationally successful. He died of cancer.
  • Siegfried Fall (Olomouc, November 10, 1877 – Terezin, April 10, 1943), who studied with Max Bruch and composed operas and songs. He earned his living doing the piano transcriptions of his brother Leo’s successful operettas (1873-1925). He was assassinated by the Nazis in the Terezín concentration camp , 60 km north of Prague ). 3 1

When Richard was a boy, his father settled in Berlin (Germany), and the brothers studied at the Conservatory Society of Friends of Music , Vienna . 4 After a few years of study, Richard and his brothers met with their father in Berlin. Richard continued to study in that city. 5

In 1906, his brother Leo – after working in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne (Germany) – was established in Vienna. 4

Richard Fall worked as director of operettas in Berlin and Vienna. His brother Leo made him direct the premieres of several of his popular works. Although he was a bit more modern than Leo – he absorbed elements of jazz and avant-garde modernist dissonance – he also composed his share of simple and popular songs (dance music and a dozen light operas and magazine music). 5 His most famous lyricist was Fritz Löhner-Beda . 5 With him he produced his best works: operettas The Globetrotter (1915) and The Lady of the World (1917), and the successful songs “Was machst du mit knie, lieber Hans” (‘what are you doing to me in the knee , Dear Hans? ‘),’ Dear Catherine ‘,’ My aunt, your aunt ‘and’ Where was your hair, August? ‘ 5

In 1925, his brother Leo died of cancer 2 in Vienna at age 52, and was buried in the Jewish section of the Vienna Zentralfriedhof cemetery. 2

In 1929, Richard secured a contract with Fox Films – Hollywood film company – although he continued working from Europe. 5 Fall wrote the music for the film Lilliom (1930, by director Frank Borzage), which was a pioneering soundtrack early in the age of sound cinema, continuously underlining the dramatic scenes, long before Max Steiner turned it into a practice Standard from King Kong (1933) onwards. His other film credits include Melody of the Heart (1929), Man trouble (1930), East Lynne (1931), Yearning 202 (1932) and A Girl and a Million (1932). 5

In 1938, when the Third Reich annexed Austria, Richard fled to Nice (in southern France), where he lived for five years hiding from the Nazis. 5 A source 1 ensures that exiled three years in Hollywood (United States), but it is strange that has not appeared in the credits as a composer of music of any film in those years.

Richard was married to Else Fall. 1 They had a daughter, Kitty Barta (maiden name: Fall), who was possibly exiled in the United Kingdom and married. 1

On January 23, 1943, his brother Siegfried was deported to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt , where he was assassinated on April 10, 1943.

On 17 November as as 1943 Richard was arrested in Nice for being Jewish. His wife Else Fall was possibly killed in a shootout in the Nice market. 1 Three days later (November 20, 1943) Richard was sent to Paris. 1

He was imprisoned in the Drancý transit camp (a suburb 12 km from the center of Paris). 1 Between 22 June 1942 and 31 July 1944, the Drancý internment camp was used as a transit camp. Many Jewish intellectuals were also locked up in Drancý: Max Jacob (who died there before being deported), Tristan Bernard , and choreographer René Blum .

On 20 November 1943, Richard Fall was deported from Paris to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp . 1

In those two years some 67 400 French, Polish and German Jews – including more than 6000 children – were deported on 64 train journeys to Auschwitz (Poland), where they were killed. Another 3000 were sent to Sobibor, where they were all killed.

On August 17, 1944 the Allies liberated the camp of Paris, but there were only 1542 Jews imprisoned.

Richard Fall spent 14 months in the Auschwitz concentration camp. In the chaos of the camp evacuation in January 1945, Fall disappeared. In the last week before the liberation of the camp (January 27, 1945), the Nazi military attempted to take away the last 60,000 Jews imprisoned in the so-called “death marches”. It is most likely that Richard Fall was executed in the woods, for he was too old-he was 62-to make that long march westward, fleeing from the Russians. 1 3

His daughter Kitty (Fall) Barta had two children: Peter Fall (born in Holleschau ) and Lilian Barta-Fall de Merlo (born in London), who lives in Mexico City . 1 6



  • 1909: Goldreifchen , fairy tale in 3 acts. Booklet : Paul Wertheimer and Mia Ewers. Vienna: UA
  • 1911: Das Damenparadies , operetta in one act. Booklet: Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald . Vienna: UA
  • 1912: Wiener Fratz , operetta in one act. Booklet: Ernst Klein and MA Weikone . Vienna: UA
  • 1912: Arms and the Girl , operetta in two scenes. Book: Austen Hurgon. London: UA
  • 1913: Leute vom Stand , operetta in one act. Booklet: Robert Bodanzky and Fritz Grünbaum . Vienna: UA
  • 1915: Der Weltenbummler , operetta in one scene and two acts. Booklet: Fritz Löhner-Bede and Karl Lindau . UA Berlin: UA
  • 1917: Die Dame von Welt , operetta in three acts. Booklet: Fritz Löhner-Beda and Hans Kottow. Vienna: UA
  • 1917: Die Puppenbaronessen , opera in two acts. Booklet: Alexander Engel and Fritz Grünbaum. Vienna: UA
  • 1920: Großstadtmärchen , operetta in three acts. Booklet: Bruno Hardt-Warden and Erwin Weill . Vienna: UA
  • 1921: Im Alpenhotel , operetta in one act. Booklet: Julius Horst and Ernst Wengraf . Vienna: UA
  • 1922: Der geizige Verschwender , operetta-comedy in 3 acts. Booklet: Richard Kessler and Arthur Rebner . Berlin: UA
  • 1925: Apollo? Nur Apollo! , Magazine theater in 18 photos (along with other composers). Booklet: Fritz Grünbaum, Wilhelm Sterk and Fritz Löhner-Bed. Vienna: UA
  • 1927: Hallo! Hier Grünbaum! , Theater of magazines; Letter: Fritz Grünbaum. Vienna: UA

Songs and cuplés

  • Liebesdunkelkammer.
  • Katharina ; Letter: L. Wolfe Gilbert.
  • In Nischni-Nowgorod (blues), lyrics: Fritz Löhner-Beda, Wiener Bohème.
  • Riecke .
  • 1912: Och! Bird! Mr. Sodier Man (Scottish song); Letter: A. Hurgon, London: Schott.
  • 1912: Playing at love (duet), lyrics: A. Hurgon, London: Schott.
  • 1923: Junger Mann ; Letter: Arthur Rebner . New York: Gabor Steiner.
  • 1923: Wenn man’s noch nie gemacht ( foxtrot ); Letter: Arthur Rebner. New York: Gabor Steiner
  • 1925: Ich spiel ‘auf der Harmonika , letter: Fritz Löhner-Bed, Wien: Wiener Boheme Verlag.
  • 1925: Meine Tante, deine Tante ( one-step ); Letter: Fritz Löhner-Bed. Vienna: Wiener Bohême.
  • 1925: Was machst du mit dem Knie, lieber Hans? ( Pasodoble ); Letter: Fritz Löhner-Bed. Vienna: Wiener Bohême.
  • 1926: Wo sind deine Haare, August? , Text: Fritz Löhner-Bed.
  • 1927: Liebe Katharina, komm zu mir nach China! (Song and foxtrot); Letter: Fritz Löhner-Bed . Vienna: Wiener Bohême.
  • Wo sind deine Haare, August? (Foxtrot); Lyrics: Fritz Löhner-Bed
  • 1932: Das ist das Herz von an unechten Wiener .
  • 1932: Ja der H immel über Wien , letter: Karl Farka . Vienna: Wiener Boheme Verlag.
  • Im roten Hirschen (Viennese song, op. 351); Letter: A. Rebner.

Music for cinema 7

  • 1929: Melodie des Herzens or Melody of the heart (additional music), United States.
  • 1930: Man trouble (uncredited).
  • 1930: Liliom , by Frank Borzage , for the Fox Film Corp.
  • 1930: Princess and the plumber (uncredited).
  • 1931: East Lynne or truncate Lives (uncredited), of Frank Lloyd , for Fox.
  • 1931: Their mad moment (uncredited).
  • 1931: Merely Mary Ann , by Henry King , for Fox Film Corp.
  • 1932: Sehnsucht 202 or Ja, der Himmel über Wien , or Yearning 202 , by Max Neufeld , Germany
  • 1932: Une jeune fille et un million or A girl and a million , by Max Neufeld and Fred Ellis , Germany.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m «Richard Fall» biographical record (in German) by Richard Fall, on the site Claude Torres. Accessed March 2, 2013.
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b c Brief biography of Leo Fall on the Find a Grave website.
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b Short biography of the members of the Fall family of musicians , on a page about the recital and conference about these musicians (February 28, 2013) on the Reanimata Music website. Retrieved on March 1, 2013.
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Brief biography of Leo Fall on the Biographies and Lives website.
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g Biography of Richard Fall , written in 2005 by Robert Edwards on the Find a Grave website.
  6. Back to top↑ Lilian Barta Merlo published – along with Leonor Tejada – the novel Tomorrow will be another day: the beginning of the Holocaust. A story of love and survival . Mexico: Edamex, 1998 (256 pages), and the book This too shall pass . Minerva Press, 2000 (161 pages).
  7. Back to top↑ Richard Fall’s profile on the IMDb website.