BLUMENTHAL, OSKAR (1852–1917), German playwright and literary critic. Born in Berlin to an Orthodox family, he finished his studies in philology and literary history in 1875. He started his career as a journalist and achieved early notoriety as "Bloody Oskar" for his satirical articles as theater critic of the Berliner Tageblatt. From 1876 he started writing comedies. In 1888 he helped to found the Lessing Theater in Berlin and directed many of its productions until 1897. Blumenthal's plays attacking social foibles were popular for about three decades and in the 1910 season several of his plays were widely performed. The witty comedy Der Probepfeil (1884) was often performed in America from 1892 onward as The Test Case. His greatest success was Im Weissen Roessl (1898), which he wrote in collaboration with Gustav Kadelburg. Transformed into a musical comedy, White Horse Inn (1907), it became an international triumph of the mid-1930s.
J. Wilcke, Das Lessingtheater unter O.B. 1881–98 (1958).
[Sol Liptzin /
Noam Zadoff (2nd ed.)]