'Das Laterndl' theatre: various papers (microfilm)

Scope and Content

Material relating to the Austrian exile theatre, 'Das Laterndl', including performance programmes, press cuttings and reviews, photographs, Fritz Gross poem dedicated to Jura, 'Zyklus'. Also included in the collection is material relating to the life and work of Jura Soyfer, a young Austrian communist party member who was recognised as leading social commentator in the 1930s and who was arrested after the Austrian Anschluss in 1938 and died in Buchenwald in 1939.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Laterndl theatre opened on 21 June 1939 at the address of the Austrian Centre, 126 Westbourne Terrace. It was conceived of as a Kleinkunstbühne. Kleinkunst was a term created in the 1930s for a type of anti-Nazi cabaret. It is described as being at the serious end of the comic market, and whilst it included many of the elements common to cabaret, it didn't include the more frivolous and bohemian.

Martin Miller was responsible for production as well as being one of the main character actors. The writers were Franz Hartl, Hugo K?nigsgarten, Rudolf Spitz, and Hans Weigel. Kurt Manschinger dealt with the music, dècor was by Carl Josefovics and costumes by Kåthe Berl. The actors were Lona Cross, Greta Hartwig, Willy Kennedy, Jaro Klüger, Fritz Schrecker, Sylvia Steiner and Marianne Walla.

The theatre moved to 153 Finchley Road and then to 69 Eton Avenue by November 1941. One of the most famous achievements associated with 'das Laterndl' was the Martin Miller's spoof Hitler broadcast on April Fools' Day, 1940, in which Hitler claimed that Columbus had discovered America with the aid of German science, giving Germany territorial claim. A text of the speech is included in this collection.


Filmed in no discernible order

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Hanna Norbert, wife of Martin Miller

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Corporate Names