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Lothar, Ernst


LOTHAR, ERNST (pseudonym of Ernst Lothar Mueller ; 1890–1974), Austrian novelist, author, and stage director. Lothar was born in Bruenn and after studying law entered the Austrian civil service and became state attorney and counsellor at the Ministry of Trade. After World War i Lothar was the theater critic of the Viennese Neue Freie Presse and in 1935 he succeeded Max Reinhardt as director of Vienna's "Theater in der Josefstadt." He also staged a number of plays at the Salzburg festivals.

Although he converted to Catholicism and was at pains to sever all connections with Judaism and the Jewish community, Lothar was forced in 1938 to resign his post and leave Austria. He eventually immigrated to the U.S. and became professor of comparative literature at Colorado College. In 1946 he returned to Vienna as theater and music officer in the U.S. army of occupation. He later again became a stage director in Vienna. Lothar was a prolific and versatile writer. His works include the novels Der Feldherr (1918), Der Hellseher (1929; The Clairvoyant, 1931), and a trilogy entitled Macht ueber alle Menschen (1921–25). His most famous work in this genre, Der Engel mit der Posaune (1945, and frequently republished), was first published in English as The Angel with the Trumpet (1944); it deals with the problem of the Jewish wife in several generations of a non-Jewish family. Unter anderer Sonne (1961; first published in English as Beneath Another Sun, 1943) was an American best seller. Lothar's autobiography, Das Wunder des Ueberlebens (1960), deals largely with his years in exile.


J.W. Nagl and J. Zeidler, Deutsch-Oesterreichische Literaturgeschichte, 4 (1937), 1377. add. bibliography: D.G. Daviau and J.B. Johns, "Ernst Lothar," in: J.M. Spalek and J.P. Strelka (eds.), Deutschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933, 2 (1989), 520–53; idem, "Ernst Lothar," in: J. Holzner (ed.), Eine schwierige Heimkehr (1991), 323–352; J.P. Strelka, "Ernst Lothar," in: I. Fialová-Fürstová (ed.), Maehrische deutschsprachige Literatur (1999), 202–214; idem, "Ernst Lothar," in: Germanoslavica, 7 (2000), 87–100; J. Thunecke, "Bucina Angelica" oder was fuer ein Schmarren? Ernst Lothars "Der Engel mit der Posaune" (1948); "Roman und Film – ein Vergleich," in: Das Maerchen vom Glueck, in: Maske und Kothurn, 46:1 (Oesterreichischer Film in der Besatzungszeit, 2001), 83–90; idem, "'Es gibt keinen Kompromiss mit dem Unrecht.' Ernst Lothars Exilroman 'Die Zeugin. Pariser Tagebuch einer Wienerin,'" in: A. Saint Sauveur-Henn (ed.), Fluchtziel Paris (2002), 288–297.

[Samuel L. Sumberg]

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