Troubles Beset Famed Author’s Heirs in Austria

A picture of the difficulties encountered by Jacob Wassermann’s heirs, is given by Mrs. Julie Wassermann, his first wife, in an interview with the “Israelitisches Wochenblatt fur die Schweiz.” In this interview, Mrs. Julie Wassermann points out that Jacob Wassermann’s will showed the same loving consideration for her and her four children, as for his second wife.

The villa which he possessed at Grinzing near Vienna has been sold at auction. This step was not the work of creditors, but the act of a single mortgage holder whose claim, amounting to 3,000 Austrian shillings, was in the end reduced to 1,000. The security offered by a Dutch publishing house was refused. The Berlin publishing house of S. Fisher which owes the family Wassermann tens of thousands of marks and which could have paid them into a German account, refused to give anything to the creditor.

SOLD FOR SMALL SUM

The villa was sold at auction for the extremely low sum of 58,000 Austrian shillings and it was bought by Herr Kommerzialrat Hollitzer, the husband of the well known Austrian actress, Tiny Sender.

Mrs. Wassermann at first thought that Hollitzer had bought the villa as an act of friendship toward Wassermann’s family and was deeply disappointed when the real facts became known to her. The son of Wassermann, who lived in the villa, was informed that he had to move out only three hours before the officials came to claim possession of the building.

Wassermann’s valuable library in the villa was packed up by certain people who had no relation with the Wasserman family. The books have now been deposited with the Vienna municipality.

According to Mrs. Julie Wassermann, an attempt is now being made to sell also Wassermann’s villa at Alt-Aussee (Styria). According to the author’s will, this house had been made over to her children and Mrs. Martha Wassermann. This house, too, contains an extremely valuable library with fourteen manuscripts by the author, and also all the books published by the Insel Verlag bound in vellum, as well as original editions of the publishing house of S. Fischer. Mrs. Julie Wassermann is at present doing her utmost to prevent the second house from falling under the hammer and is trying to raise the 40,000 Austrian shillings required for that purpose.

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