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Carl Zuckmayer
(photographer unknown)

Carl Zuckmayer

born December 27th, 1896
Nackenheim, Germany

died January 18th, 1977
Visp, Switzerland

novelist, poet, playright, screen play author, essayist

Born in Nackenheim/Rheinhessen, Zuckmayer moved to Mainz at age 4. He became a 2nd Lt. in WWI, pursueing university studies in Frankfurt and Heidelberg. In Berlin, in 1924, Zuckmayer became friends with Bertholt Brecht when both worked under Max Reinhardt at the Deutschen Theater. He wrote his first play in 1920--Kreuzweg (Crossway), a complete failure, having only three performances.

His first success was in 1925--Der fröhliche Weinberg (The Merry Vineyard). In that same year, he married actress Alice Herdan (who became a prolific writer in her own right). In 1928, Zuckmayer wrote Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) film script for Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings. In 1930 he wrote perhaps his most famous play--Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (The Captain of Kopenick). He removed to Austria when the Nazi's took over Germany, and then, in 1939 he escaped to Switzerland after the Gestapo seized his home after the Anschluss. He emigrated, via Cuba, to USA with the sponsorship of journalist, and friend of FDR, Dorothy Thompson.

Zuckmayer lived in Hollywood as a script writer between 1939 and 1941. Then, from 1941 to 1946, he and his family lived on a farm near Barnard, Vermont. In 1946, he became an American citizen, and returned to Europe where he debuted his second important play--Des Teufels General (The Devil's General) in Zurich. He also worked for the U.S. government invesitgating post-war cultural conditions in Germany and Austria, producing a profile of many prominent war-time artistic figures, including conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. In 1964, his play Das Leben des Horace A. W. Tabor Ein Stück aus den Tagen der letzten Könige (The Life of Horace A.W. Tabor: A piece from the days of the last kings) was premiered in Zurich. He wrote his autobiography Als wär's ein Stück von mir (As if it were a Part of Myself) in 1966. Carl Zuckmayer died in Visp, Switzerland in 1977.

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A short Zuckmayer biography at Wikipedia

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A German page featuring a photograph of Zuckmayer's grave

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Carl and Alice Zuckmayer and their daughters spent World War II living in exile, just up the hill from the General Store ("since 1832") in Barnard, Vermont. The farm house, barns and pond were all lovingly profiled in Alice's (Herdan-Zuckmayer) lyric book about their time at the farm The Farm in the Green Mountains, published in German in 1949. Their friend Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961) is memorialized in the town park adjacent to the General Store.

The sign reads:
The Dorothy Thompson Memorial Common was established in 2001 by the Barnard Silver Lake Association, a non - profit organization. In memory of the reowned [mistake is on the sign and not on that of babydoe.org] journalist and one of Barnard's outstanding citizens in the years 1928-1962. The Common offers an open space in the center of Barnard where residents and visitors can stroll, relax and enjoy the view of the lake. During the winter, the Common is used for sledding and tobogganing and affords snowmobilers access to the lake. The Barnard Silver Lake Association maintains the Common.
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation-2002

Internet Movie Database entry for Das Leben des Horace A.W. Tabor

Zuckmayer's play about Horace Tabor was premiered in 1964 in the Zurich Schauspielhaus. It was subsequently broadcast on Germany's ARD 2 TV network on the evening of December 2, 1965. The accompanying TV schedule lists the cast and, in the caption below the picture, a short synopsis of the play. What follows is an English translation of the caption.

"Horace Tabor is a small post office civil servant in a former gold mining city in Colorado. His life changes fundamentally, when he comes into possession of a silver mine--he becomes a big entrepreneur and financial magnate, [and] wins political influence. His "old" wife Augusta isn't sufficient for him any longer. He marries the young, pretty Baby Doe. Nevertheless bad speculations and collapse of the stock market bring Tabor again to the place from where he came... Friends of television plays must divide themselves "in the middle" this evening like Rumpelstiltskin: two pieces of a similar character are to be broadcast at the same time. [A reference to  Der Spleen des George Riley by Tom Stoppard to be broadcast on ARD 1, the other network.] One calls such a thing, in technical language, "counter programming." (Picture & Radio Commentary)"

Click here to see the TV schedule

Internet Movie Database entry for Der Spleen des George Riley