Between Romanticising and Persecution
In operettas, life is easy and is often set in aristocratic castles. Roma and Sinti are not unwelcome there and are not racially discriminated against, expelled, persecuted or murdered—as by the Nazis on the outskirts of Graz in 1938. With the Gypsy Violinist, Alexander Girardi had his last great operetta success in 1912, before he retired to his hometown Graz. The composer of the Gypsy Violinist, Emmerich Kálmán was still able to flee to the USA in 1938, the librettist, Fritz Grünbaum, was not. He perished in the Dachau concentration camp in 1941. Before that, the comedian’s tongue was crushed.
Colourized Photograph, Atelier L. Gutmann, Vienna
37,5 × 25,2 cm