1904 - 1942
The singer and actor Joseph Schmidt was born in Davideny, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary in those time.
In spite of a height of 1.54 Joseph Schmidt became one of the most dazzling singing stars of his time. He visited regularly most fashionable hotels in Europe and USA, and evoked much affection from his listeners.
His first vocal training was as a classic Hebrew singer in the local
synagogue in Cernowitz.
With an engagement for a German radio broadcast began his successful
The days that came with the Nazis was everything else than pleasant. As a Jew he had already to escape from the Nazis in 1933 and fled to Vienna. There he could stay for the next five years but then the Nazis caught up with. He escaped again, this time to Bruxelles and 1940 to France. As war erupted he tried to make his way to Switzerland but his effort failed twice and he was sent back. Finally he didn't have any other chance than to enter Switzerland illegal.
He got accommodation by friends in Zurich. Despite the
dissuasion of his friends he reported himself to the police because he
didn't want to violate the law of the country which saved him from
certain death. He was sent
to the internment camp Girenbad (it was the last station of his life) where he had to wait for the asylum decree.
On the 16th November 1942 the heart of Joseph Schmidt knocked off beating,
a wonderful voice became silent for ever.
Other movies with Joseph Schmidt: