Mischa Spoliansky 
A Brief History

 

At the Berlin arts festival, 1979

In the UK, the name Mischa Spoliansky is mainly associated with music for British films in the late nineteen thirties, forties, and fifties, notably The Happiest Days Of Your Life, The Private Life of Don Juan, Sanders of the River, King Solomon’s Mines, Wanted for Murder, North West Frontier, and many more: in Germany, he is best remembered for his Kabarett and revue songs of the nineteen twenties; in the US, he is less well known, although Ute Lemper and others have done much to bring his work to wider audiences through recordings and stage appearances. The centenary of his birth in 1998 prompted the reissue of many of his compositions performed by the original artists on various CDs, as well as many hitherto unknown recordings coming to light. There continues to be a steady demand for the sheet music of many of his songs, bringing about an increased awareness and appreciation of the work of one of the most distinguished composers of his time and genre.

Early Years

Music was in Mischa Spoliansky’s blood. His father, Pawlov Spoliansky, was an operatic baritone and his siblings also inherited their father’s musical talent: his sister Lisa studied piano with Theodor Leschetizky alongside Paderewski and Schnabel and went on to become a concert pianist in her own right, while his brother Alexander became a cellist with the Warsaw Philharmonic.

Mischa, with Father (L) and Uncle

Mischa Spoliansky was born on December 28, 1898 in Bialystok, at that time in Russia, now in

north-eastern Poland, close to the Belarusian border. The population of Bialystok was predominantly Jewish and following the Russian Revolution in 1905 it was the scene of an infamous pogrom, which resulted in a mass exodus of many of the inhabitants, mainly to New York’s Lower East Side. (So great was the influx that a new synagogue had to be formed – the Bialystoker Synagogue, at 7-11 Willet Street.) However, the Spoliansky family left Bialystok first for Warsaw, living there for a year before moving to Kalisz where Mischa’s father was invited to join the Opera House. Tragically, the boy’s mother died unexpectedly, and the family split up: his brother and sister moved to Berlin, while Mischa stayed with his father, and a year later they moved first to Vienna and then to Dresden, where he studied piano with Professor Mark Guensberg and his wife, although he also played violin and cello. He gave his first public concert aged ten when, halfway through a Mozart piano sonata he forgot the music, but he improvised so skilfully until he finally remembered what he should be playing that hardly anyone in the audience noticed – no mean feat for a ten-year-old!

However, once again his life was subjected to upheaval: a year after the concert, his father died, and until the outbreak of World War One he lived with friends of his father in the old Prussian city of Königsberg (annexed by the then Soviet Union in 1945, when it became, and remains, Kaliningrad).

Aged 12 or 13, c. 1910

Berlin

His final move was to Berlin, where he lived with his cellist brother Alexander. He got a job working at the Gebrueder Gersons department store, which, along with Wertheim and the famous Kaufhaus des Westens – the KaDeWe – was one of Berlin’s famous temples to luxury consumerism; the KaDeWe had six floors, with a restaurant on the fifth, complete with orchestra, and Wertheims had a glass-roofed atrium and boasted 83 elevators. (Is it mere coincidence that two of Spoliansky’s greatest successes – Es liegt in der Luft and Rufen Sie Herrn Plim! were set in department stores?)  However, his brother persuaded him that he should follow a musical career, and he joined Alexander to play violin as a member of a trio at the fashionable Café Schön. He also played piano in cafés in the evenings, to pay for tuition at the Stern Conservatory, where he studied the piano and composition. He finally got a job playing piano in the renowned Ufa-Filmtheaterorchester, accompanying silent films at the Ufa-Theater on Friedrichstrasse, famous for its ‘two tall, phallic electric columns,’ and it was here that his first compositions were performed.

Following the Revolution in 1917, countless Russians from all levels of society, from serfs to aristocrats, flooded into Berlin, many of them destitute and all of them bewildered. ‘I sat with him in his little wooden cubicle,’ wrote Joseph Roth in the Neue Berliner Zeitung-12-Uhr-Blatt in September 1920.

‘Lieutenant Colonel Bersin is a czarist Russian officer, and a refugee. He has been in Berlin since April. He is old and stiff and proud. His gait is a little crooked, but after all the world has become so crooked. Revolution! And the Little Father is no more. Where is the czar? Where are his epaulettes? Where is the General Staff? He is a veteran of the Chinese war, the Japanese war, the Great war. He was lieutenant colonel on the General Staff. Most recently in Riga … How much longer can the Bolsheviks last? Only a little bit, surely! It’s insane! A revolution! Ripping the epaulettes off officers’ uniforms! Where is the czar? The Little Father? Where is Russia? He has a family. His children – perhaps they are married by now; or fled, or even dead! What sort of world is this? A crooked world! Poor lieutenant colonel! History has performed a somersault, and a lieutenant colonel winds up in the shelter for homeless people.’(i)

It was when Mischa Spoliansky, himself of course Russian-born, was playing the piano in a Russian émigré café where he worked as a composer and pianist, that he was heard by Victor Hollaender and Werner Richard Heymann. Hollaender, also a talented pianist and conductor as well as a prolific operetta and revue composer, was famous for his revues at the Metropol-Theater, Auf ins Metropol! – Off to the Metropol! – starring the delectable Fritzi Massary,  and Heymann was another noted pianist and composer, who would also make a name for himself in Kabarett.

Hollaender’s son Friedrich was one of the founding ensemble of Max Reinhardt’s newly revived, and most famous political-literary cabaret of all, Schall und Rauch. The name itself speaks volumes: literally, the words mean ‘sound and smoke,’ but they’re a tongue-in-cheek evocation of Shakespeare’s, and later Goethe’s, ‘sound and fury … signifying nothing,’ and, let it not be forgotten, ‘told by a fool.’

Schall und Rauch was located under Max Reinhardt’s vast, 3,500-seat Großes Schauspielhaus – ‘Great Theatre’ – a huge Expressionist extravaganza designed by Hans Poelzig, on the north bank of the river Spree where Schiffenbauerdamm meets Friedrichstrasse. It was hardly the ideal venue for the essentially intimate atmosphere of cabaret:


[the basement, cellar] 'filled with columns supporting the vaulted roof, had been painted a bright red and green in hopes of livening up the  cavelike room, which had previously served as a storage room for the market hall and then as stalls for the circus, but the decoration did little to help the cold, inhospitable atmosphere. There was no real stage, only a small podium for the performers; the upright piano and the band (on the later occasions when there was one) stood on the floor next to the platform ... The gigantic tunnel held 1,100 people and was thus a most disadvantageous  place for Kleinkunst, lacking intimacy and coziness. One critic [Erich Köhrer, writing in theBerliner Börsenzeitung, December 9, 1919] complained of an echo and went on to describe the impression of the hall:
"A cellar. A genuine, typical beer tunnel. A hundred 'gothic' arches on a hundred columns. Of 150 tables there are 20 from which one can see what is going on, 50 at most from which at least the ear can take part in the - futile - chase after punch lines. Otherwise, nothing can be seen, not a word can be heard ... the hall devours every bit of amusement, doesn't even let it surface."(ii)

Following Victor Hollaender’s introduction, Mischa Spoliansky, and also Werner Richard Heymann, joined a group that included Friedrich Hollaender and writers such as Klabund (Alfred Henschke), Kurt Tucholsky, Joachim Ringelnatz and Walter Mehring, and performers like Paul Graetz and Hollaender’s muse and first wife, Blandine Ebinger.

‘So it's going to be quite acid stuff? Very acid, certainly. The music is going to be acid too … And right on cue two new faces appear out of the smog. Also musicians. Werner Richard Heymann and Mischa Spoliansky, a young Russian, baby faced and bald. But the way he played piano afterwards! Everything in the room that was made of velvet, hid.’(iii)

Berlin 1914

Mischa Spoliansky became the house composer and pianist at Schall und Rauch although the cabaret itself was relatively short-lived: the ‘acid stuff’ – the phrase most generally used was ‘biting satire’ – was directed at politicians, revolutionaries, profiteers and similar unsavoury characters, and audiences wanted something lighter.

 

‘What interests the audience:
Hunger, misery, suffering millions,
Thousands rotting away in jail?
Does that interest the audience?
Alas, the naked bottom of Anita Berber:
That interests the audience.’(iv)

 

The erotic dancer Anita Berber was addicted to alcohol and cocaine as well as sex – she was bisexual – and was one of the most notorious figures on the Weimar stage. She died at the age of twenty-nine. But her ‘naked bottom,’ and pretty much the naked rest of her, were on display when she performed her infamous Cocaine dance at the Weisse Maus – White Mouse - cabaret toMorphium – ‘Morphine,’ a valse boston  specially written for her by Mischa Spoliansky. Morphiumbecame an immediate hit, and remained so for five years. Equally in tune with the Zeitgeist was ‘Das Lila Lied’ – The Lilac Song – Under the pseudonym 'Arno Billing' and dedicated to Magnus Hirschfeld an outspoken advocate for sexual minorities which was promptly seized on by the gay and lesbian communities as their mantra.

 

Berlin, c. 1929

Spoliansky played piano at several other cabarets in Berlin, including Die Rackete – The Rocket – and Trude Hesterberg’s Wilde Bühne – Wild Stage – where he again became house composer, working with Mehring, and a budding librettist and lyricist who would also develop as a noted revue writer, Marcellus Schiffer. Spoliansky also worked at Kurt Robitschek’sKabarett der Komiker – Cabaret of Comedians – better known as ‘Kadeko,’ where once more he worked with Schiffer, in what would become a long and fruitful collaboration, as well as friendship. They were as perfectly matched as Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hart, or Kander and Ebb, and they would produce some of their greatest work when collaborating with each other. Mischa Spoliansky additionally developed his interest in jazz and dance band music, and many recordings attest to his artistry in what the Nazis would call Entartete Musik– Degenerate Music. The Nazis didn’t like it, but most other Germans did.

In 1922 Spoliansky married the dancer Elspeth (Eddy) Reinwald, a union that would last sixty-two years, until his death, and their first of three daughters, Irmgard, was born a year later. (She always hated the name, and when she was thirteen insisted on being called ‘Spoli’ which she was for the rest of her life.) It was hardly the best time to start a family – it was the year of the Great Inflation, when a Berlin tram ticket cost 400,000 marks, and a US dollar was worth 4 billion marks. It was also the year of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch and soon the shadow of a burgeoning National Socialist party would begin to fall over cabarets as well as those who performed in them. Hitler and the National Socialists were frequently targets of satire, often duly noted by a NSSpitzel – informer – in the audience, for ‘future reference.’

Spoliansky further broadened his scope as a pianist by accompanying Richard Tauber in Schubert’s Winterreise, and performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue to great acclaim. His collaboration with Marcellus Schiffer blossomed when they embarked on what would be a high point in his career, a revue called Es liegt in der Luft­ – It’s in the Air. Schiffer wrote it for his wife, Margo Lion, but also in the cast was a young, struggling actress by the name of Marlene Dietrich. She’d already appeared in twenty-two theatre productions and twelve films, usually playing bit parts, but had yet to make a name for herself.

She later described auditioning to sing a song that would open the performance. ‘That meant – and it really didn’t surprise me – that my role was unimportant,’ she wrote.

‘The pianist [Mischa Spoliansky] gave me the key. A thin child’s voice came out from between my lips. The pitch was much too high for me. I gave forth with a trembling falsetto that had nothing to do with singing.
‘”Stop! Next!” the director shouted. At this point, Mischa Spoliansky stood up and said: “Try it once more, only this time an octave lower.”
‘The one who was to be “next” retreated into the background while I stayed where I was, as if rooted to the spot, scared stiff. What if I should disappoint the composer? We began again at a lower pitch. Mischa Spoliansky kept changing the key until suddenly – to my infinite surprise – harmonious sounds seemed to fill the theatre.
‘Spoliansky made a note of the key. The musicians and the composer began to whisper to each other. The other candidates moved towards the exit. The role was mine!’(v)

With Marlene Dietrich El Morocco, NYC 1949

The story was told many times including in a letter written by Marlene to Mischa’s daughter Spoli after his death in which she finished by saying ‘If he had not insisted on getting me the part in the play with Margo Lion, I never would have had the life and glory I did have. I can imagine the life I would have had otherwise! Maybe 6 children – housewife- what a bore!!!  The show – and Marlene Dietrich – was an overnight success. It premiered on May 15, 1928, at the Komödie on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, and was, in the words of Steven Bach, Dietrich’s unsurpassed biographer, ‘an instant sensation.

‘Marlene had nine major scenes and with Margo Lion sang Berlin’s biggest hit until “Mac the Knife” took over in August. “My Best Girlfriend” [“Wenn die beste Freundin”] was a breezy lesbian duet … Marlene later claimed (rather charmingly) that the girl-girl part was all an innocent misunderstanding, but no one misunderstood it then. Marlene packed them in … [Robert] Klein said, “The box office informed me that elderly gentlemen had come to see the show twenty-five times, insisting on front row seats and making sure that Miss Dietrich was playing that night.” … Herbert Nelson remembered that “withIt’s in the Air Marlene became the girl in Berlin. No one in Berlin was unaware of her from that moment forward.”’(vi)

‘Wenn die beste Freundin’ was also Marlene’s first recording,cut in June 1928, with Mischa Spoliansky at the piano, along with an eight-minute potpourri from the show, but it certainly wouldn’t be her last. The following year Spoliansky wrote the music for another hit revue, this time written by Georg Kaiser, called Zwei Krawatten – Two Bow Ties, and again with Marlene Dietrich, although this time she was the star. The show opened at the Berliner Theater on the Charlottenstrasse in Berlin’s West End on September 5, 1929, and it was nearing the end of its run when Josef von Sternberg saw it – and saw Marlene Dietrich. He immediately decided it was she who would star in the film he was about to make – ‘Der blaue Engel’ – ‘The Blue Angel.’ ‘Here was the face I had sought,’ he wrote later, ‘and, so far as I could tell, a figure that did  justice to it.’(vii) He didn’t mention the legs … The film made Dietrich world famous, and in it she sang the song that would also become world famous, and be her second recording, ‘Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt’ – ‘Falling in Love Again’.

The following year there was another revue: Wie werde ich reich und glücklich (How Do I Become Rich and Famous), written by Felix Joachimson, and in 1931 Spoliansky and Schiffer collaborated again on a new show, Alles Schwindel – It’s All a Swindle, again starring Margo Lion, and also Gustaf Gründgens, who additionally directed the production. It produced another international hit song for Spoliansky when Mistinguett sang it at the Casino de Paris and recorded it that same year as ‘Viens’ – Come, with French lyrics by Henri Varna, Léo Lelièvre and Leopold de Lima.

Der blaue Engel was Germany’s first major sound film: it had its gala premier, rivalling anything that Hollywood could do, at the Gloria-Palast cinema, Ufa’s main premier theatre, on the Kurfürstendamm on April 4, 1930. Sound had taken over from silent films in Germany since the first feature-length sound film, Melodie des Herzens – Melody of the Heart, had appeared in the previous year, and in 1930 two-thirds of German feature films had sound, while only two silent films were made. There was a frantic attempt to build sound studios, and in 1931 over five thousand cinemas had undertaken the expensive business of converting to sound.

The advent of sound ushered in a second career for Mischa Spoliansky, as a film composer. Oscar Fischinger had used Spoliansky’s ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ in Studie Nr. 4 in 1930, and the same year Zwei Krawatten was filmed, but without Dietrich. Nie wieder Liebe – Love No More – starring the English-born Lillian Harvey, was released on July 27, 1931, and in it Margo Lion sang a raucous rendering of Spoliansky’s ‘Leben ohne Liebe kannst du nicht’ – You can’t Live without Love – with words by Robert Gilbert. It was a song in the same class as ‘Falling in Love Again,’ and Dietrich had already recorded it, in March 1931. Spoliansky himself appeared in the film, billed as ‘Piano Man.’ His second film was Das Lied einer Nacht  The Song of Night, released in English as Tell Me Tonight. In it, he teamed up again with Marcellus Schiffer to write ‘Heute Nacht oder nie,’ literally Tonight or Never, but better known as ‘Tell Me Tonight’ (the title of the English-language version of the film). Jan Kiepura, the famous romantic tenor and actor sang it, and it brought Spoliansky worldwide acclaim.

Nineteen thirty-two saw more shows by Spoliansky and Schiffer: one called Das Haus dazwischen – The House In Between – and an entirely new undertaking: a ‘cabaret opera’ – Die erste Kabarettoper, was how it was billed. It opened in March at theKabarett der Komiker, the Kadeko, and was an immediate success. Once again, it was a collaboration with Schiffer, and it was called Rufen Sie Herrn Plim! – Call Mr Plim! It was set in a department store, and the unfortunate Herr Plim who was valued employee, was then specifically used as a scapegoat to placate irate customers – whenever one of them complained, the call went out for Herr Plim, who was blamed for whatever the problem was, and promptly fired to appease the customer – he was then promptly re-hired to await the next grievance. The music was delightful, and the book and lyrics witty and satirical. It also contained a trio, the first lines of which were Sie kommt, sie naht! (She comes, she’s getting nearer!) But with ‘a clever shift of musical accents,’ the astute listener would hear Sie naht, sie kommt – the exact pronunciation of ‘Nazi.' (viii)

Sadly, 1932 was also the year in which Marcellus Schiffer died, from an overdose of sleeping pills – he was forty-two. The following year another Spoliansky show appeared: 100 Meter Glück – 100 Metres of Happiness, also written with Schiffer before his death. Thiswould be Spoliansky’s last show in pre-war Germany, because indeed ‘the Nazis were coming, the Nazis were getting nearer’ – Adolf Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Apart from the frequent satire directed at him and the National Socialists, Mischa Spoliansky was a Jew: he was deprived of his German citizenship, and, like so many others, he was forced to leave Germany that year with his young family. This was the second time Mischa had had to leave his home simply because he was Jewish.

 

With Marlene Dietrich & Eddy

England
When Mischa Spoliansky arrived in England, the British film industry was at its nadir: 25 million Britons – well over half the total population – were going to the cinema each week. He soon found work as well as obtaining British citizenship, no doubt helped by his international reputation.

As with most prolific film composers, many of the films he worked on fell in the ‘sound and smoke … signifying nothing’ category, unworthy of the music he wrote for them, and were  quickly forgotten. However, there were considerable successes, notably The Private Life of Don Juan (1934), featuring Douglas Fairbanks; Sanders of the River (1935) starring Paul Robeson; The Ghost Goes West (1935); The Man who Could Work Miracles (1936), with scenario and dialogue by H.G. Wells, based on his short story of the same name; King Solomon’s Mines (1937) – uncredited, again with Robeson; Paradise for Two (1937); SecretMission (1942); Don’t Take it to Heart (1944), a kind of proto-Ealing comedy; Wanted for Murder (1946), starring Eric Portman; A Voice in the Night (1946); The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), a vehicle for Margaret Rutherford and Alistair Sim as the rival heads of two schools billeted together and regarded as the precursor of the later St. Trinians films;Trouble in Store (1953), an early slap-stick for Norman Wisdom; Saint Joan (1957), directed by Otto Preminger; North West Frontier (1959); – and many more: Spoliansky’s last film score, ironically enough, was Hitler: The Last Ten Days, written in 1973. The four songs he wrote for Paul Robeson, ‘The Canoe Song’, ‘Love Song’, ‘Congo Lullaby’, and ‘The Killing Song’, (Sanders of the River), plus ‘Ho, Ho’ and ‘Climbing Up!’ (King Solomon’s Mines) are regarded by some to be among the best he ever wrote. Elisabeth Welch sang his ‘Red Hot Annabelle’ in Over the Moon – uncredited, (1939), starring Merle Oberon and Rex Harrison, and Marlene Dietrich performed his ‘Love is Lyrical’ in Stage Fright, also uncredited, (1950).(ix)

During the war years, Mischa Spoliansky combined writing film music with going to war himself. The multi-lingual English actor Marius Goring, probably best known for the films he made for Powell and Pressburger, was seconded to the Foreign Office and became supervisor of all BBC programmes to Germany. He gathered together a team of ex-Berliners who had fled Germany: Lucie Mannheim, Walther Rilla, Herbert Lom, Gerard Heinz – and Mischa Spoliansky. In addition to news broadcasts and details of happenings in Germany, Goring was responsible for a highly successful propaganda series, Aus der frien Welt – From the Free World.(x) It featured songs written by Spoliansky, often sung by Lucie Mannheim accompanied by the composer at the piano, or with leading dance bands: typical was ‘Lied vom Weib des Nazi-Soldaten’ Song of the Wife of a Nazi Soldier, with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. ‘From Prague she received high-heeled shoes,   from Oslo a fur cap, a hat from Amsterda; gifts from Brussels and Paris followed, but then from Russia her present was a widow’s veil.’

'Battle of the Villa Fiorita' with Rossano Brazzi (seated), Delmaer Daves (R) and Finley Currie (L), 1965

Aftermath
After the war, there were many more films, and in 1948 a revue at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London, Four, Fix, Six, with Binnie Hale and Bobby Howes; a musical version of Carl Zuckmayer’s Katharina Knie, with music by Spoliansky and lyrics by Robert Gilbert, premiered on January 20, 1957 at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, and ten years later, on March 5, 1967, also in Munich, his Wie lernt man Liebe – How One Learns Love – was performed at the Cuvilliés-Theater. In 1977, Spoliansky was invited to Berlin to appear at a gala in the Renaissance Theater, and the following year, just short of his 80th birthday, he returned to Berlin to play his songs together with Margo Lion who, since the death of her husband Marcellus Schiffer in 1932, had never remarried. The performance was great success, and he was invited back again in 1979.

It was to be his last live performance, but following the centenary of his birth there was renewed interest in his work: when Ute Lemper brought her one-woman show to the Queen’s Theatre in London in 1999 she called it Life’s a Swindle, after Spoliansky’s 1931 revue, and in it she sang several of his songs, together with others by Hollaender and Weill/Brecht, and shortly afterwards Paul Hull presented a centenary celebration of Spoliansky’s work at the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank.

Rufen Sie Herrn Plim! Spoliansky’s 1932 cabaret opera had been translated into English asSend for Mr. Plim, and became an instant success when it was performed at the Battersea Arts Centre in London in 1999, and again at the Covent Garden Festival in 2000:  described as ‘a bewitching blend of jazz improvisation and operatic pastiche,’ The London Times said it was ‘a delightful one-acter … beautifully put  together … a witty setting … an absolute charmer,’ while the Guardian thought it was ‘triumphantly staged … says more in sixty minutes than most musicals say ... over three hours.’ Send for Mr. Plim was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and performed at the Peacock Theatre, London in 2000, as well as as far afield as Marin County, California, at the Tiburon Music Festival, in 2010. Also in 2010, and also far afield, Spoliansky’s songs formed part of a Kabarettperformance entitled Morphium by Kim Smith in Adelaide, South Australia.
In Germany, there continue to be productions of Spoliansky’s work such as Zwei Krawatten in the 2004/2005 season in Dortmund and in 2009 in Rudolstadt,  and Rufen Sie Herrn Plim! at the Städtischen Bühnen in Münster in 2002/2003, and later in Kassel. It was also performed at the Schlachthof in Bremen in 2010. There are more productions scheduled for 2011 and beyond. 
Spoliansky’s daughter, ‘Spoli’ Mills was instrumental in perpetuating her father’s work, including having his music typeset, catalogued and indexed, as well as editing his autobiography and instigating the translation and performance of Send for Mr. Plim at the Battersea Arts Festival. Mischa Spoliansky, as well as being an accomplished musician and talented composer, was also a warm, charming, modest, unassuming man who had laughter in his eyes: when Spoli herself died, her obituary in the Independent included one of her favourite anecdotes: it concerned


‘the day she was returning home and found her eccentric father standing, rather sheepishly, in the subway at Hyde Park Corner. On the ground beside him was a flat cap containing a few coins. When she asked what he thought he was doing, he explained that the harmonica player who usually stood there had gone for a drink and he was keeping an eye on the pitch. “But why you?” his daughter pressed. 
‘"He's a fellow musician," her father replied.’(xi))

Mischa Spoliansky, one of the leading cabaret and revue composers of the Weimar years in Berlin, gifted writer of film music, and gentleman, died aged 86 at home in London on June 28, 1985.
Peter Cornforth

i Joseph Roth, What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-33, trans. Michael Hofmann
ii Alan Lareau, The Wild Stage.
iii Friedrich Hollaender, Von Kopf bis Fuß: Mein Leben mit Text und Musik.
iv Cabaret song per W. Mann, Berlin zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik, cited by Alex de Jonge, The Weimar Chronicle.
v Marlene Dietrich, My Life.
vi Steven Bach, Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend.
vii Josef von Sternberg, Fun in a Chinese Laundry.
viii Alan Lareau, liner notes for the album Mischa Spoliansky: Musikalische Stationen zwischen ‘Morphium’ und Widerstand.
x Film buffs will find a (fairly complete) listing and details of Spoliansky’s films at the Internet Movie Database and a more thorough review of his work in The Concise CineGraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema, ed. Hans- Michael Bock and Tim Bergfelder.
ix Asa Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume II, The War of Words, 1939-1945.
xi The Independent, April 7, 2004.

 

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mischa spoliansky