Victim of “aryan Paragraph,” Jewish Actor Sues Film Company
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Victim of “aryan Paragraph,” Jewish Actor Sues Film Company

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Germany’s “Aryan” paragraph found an echo in an Austrian court today when Ernst Deutsch, Austria’s most prominent actor, brought a breach of contract suit against an Austrian film company for breaking its contract with him on the grounds his “grandmother was not an “Aryan.”

The attorney for the company told the court the action was necessary in order to comply with the requirements of the German authorities, since it was intended that the film be shown in Germany. The attorney said the German authorities require that casts of films shown in the Reich be entirely “Aryan.”

The court deferred its verdict in order to establish whether Deutsch had missed other engagements because of this contract.

The actor had been engaged by the company for a leading part in “The White Wife of the Maharajah,” and had received 4,000 Austrian shillings (about $800) as his first two months salary. At the last minute he was notified that his contract would be cancelled unless he could produce evidence that his grandmother was “unimpeachably ‘Aryan’.”

Before Prof. Max Reinhardt left for the United States, Deutsch had played diversified roles in his Deutsches Theater in Berlin. His first great success was in 1916 when he played the title role in von Hasenclever’s drama, “Sohn,” at the Dresden Residenz Theater.

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