Lotte Lenya:The very next day, Joseph Goebbels banned any more performances of Der Silbersee on account of that ballad.
A friend who had been arrested got word to Kurt that he must leave Berlin at once – his name was on a list. So, Kurt waited at a café and I packed some things for him and drove him to Munich. That was where all the refugees went to wait for the new election results. We thought Hitler would be defeated this time. Well, we were wrong. It was time to leave….
…I went back to Vienna to say goodbye to my mother and Mariedl. But Kurt was crazy – he went back to Berlin for his music. He could have been caught! But he grabbed what music he could and drove to the French border and on to Paris. After that, Kurt never talked about Germany. Never went back after the war, not even for a day. That is how hurt he was….
…Well, you know, Kurt had this big success in Paris with The Little Mahagonny, so it was hard for him to come back as a refugee. But Kurt never looked back. That is how he was so successful – he never looked back.
George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein formed a company in Paris and they asked Kurt to write a score for a ballet and Kurt asked Brecht to write the libretto, and that became The Seven Deadly Sins. I sang Anna One and Tilly Losch – very famous dancer – she danced Anna Two. Mr. Balanchine didn’t understand what it was about, but he did a beautiful job.
But the French hated it because it was sung in German. We did the piece again in London. Terrible translation. It failed there, too – worse than in Paris.
Well, our divorce was granted and the one good thing about it was I was able to sell the house and try to get out all the money we had in Germany – the Nazis would have taken everything if I was still married to a Jew.
Hitler couldn’t last – that’s what I thought. Germany would see reason. He would go. He didn’t….
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