Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reinhardt and Leopoldskron

So now that you have the basics of how the schloss came to be it's time to move to the 20th century.  So here enters the hero of the piece.
After the First World War Max Reinhardt bought the schloss and spent the next 20 years and a great deal of money renovating.  As someone who spent the majority of her time in his office I can attest that it was worth every cent and second he lavished on the place.  Here's one of my favorite views.  This is looking out to the library from the Reinhardt office.
Many people have not heard of Max Reinhardt these days.  So here's a few facts about him(thanks to the finding aid of the SUNY- Binghamton Special Collections, which holds the Reinhardt archives)  Max Reinhardt started his work life as an actor.  He was best known for his portrayals of old men, but he quickly tired of the scripts and the style of acting at the time and founded his own theatre in 1901.  Known as Schall und Rauch it helped Max develop a directorial style for his later years.  He moved around from Vienna, Salzburg, and Berlin during this time.
He quickly became a well known director who used new technologies and experimented with locations for his productions.  This came in handy when he and Richard Wagner and Hugo von Hofmannsthal revived and expanded the Salzburg Festspiele.  Reinhardt convinced the Archbishop to let him direct Hofmannsthal's play Jedermann(Everyman) in front of the Dom Cathedral to open the Festival.  This is something they still do today at the opening of every festival, unless it rains, of course.  Here's a shot of the front of the Dom on Palm Sunday.   A partial view of what it could be like for the play.

After the war he left Berlin for Salzburg where he lived until 1938.  As a Jew he was unwelcome in Austria after the Anschluss.  All his property including Leopoldskron was seized by the Nazis because he was considered an enemy of the state.  Luckily for Max he was in the U.S. at the time where he lived in until his death in 1943 at the age of 70.  Some think losing the schloss broke his heart.  I don't know about that, but it is known that he was saddened by it's loss to the Nazis.  When his possessions(all 16 crates of them) were returned to him by an admirer he replied to her "Thank you, but what are 16 crates when one has lost Leopoldskron?".
So the schloss is still working it's magic on the owner.  Like the original owner it was hard to leave the place that he loved.

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