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‘The Mysteries of Rudolfo’— Rudolf Kommer from Czernowitz —‘That Spherical, Remorselessly Shaved, Enigmatic “Dearest Friend”;’— A Puller of Strings on the Exile Scene

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The name of Rudolf K. Kommer from Czernowitz (1885–1943), one of the most mysterious figures on the exile scene, occurs continually in memoirs and autobiographies throughout the thirties and early forties, and a Novelle and a novel were written about him. This article tries to investigate the role he played, particularly for Max Reinhardt in the United States, whether he was in fact a Nazi double agent or not, and to examine one specific case of help given by him to an exile, namely Alfred Kerr. Kommer inspired a young American playwright to write a play about the conflict between Kerr and Hauptmann, which was performed in New York as early as 1934. The Kerr–Kommer letters document the nature of a completely selfless relationship on Kommer’s part.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Technische Universität Darmstadt

Publication date: 1998-04-01

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