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Hanns Eisler

Hanns EislerBorn: 6-Jul-1898
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: 6-Sep-1962
Location of death: East Berlin, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof, Berlin, Germany

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Composer

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: German radical composer

Military service: Austro-Hungarian Army (WWI)

An early student of dodecaphonic composer Arnold Schoenberg beginning 1919, and of Anton Webern in 1922, Eisler broke with Schoenberg in 1926 to compose anti-Fascist revolutionary music. A long, fruitful collaboration ensued with Bertolt Brecht: Eisler composed music for several of his plays; but they fled Nazi Germany in 1933 after their work was banned. Coming to America, Eisler composed music for films until the second Red Scare. He was blacklisted from Hollywood, forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and finally deported for his radical past. Eisler settled in East Berlin, where he composed the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic; however in the 1950s he again came under political attack for his retelling of Faust, which officials claimed blasphemed Goethe.

Sister: Elfriede Eisler
Wife: Charlotte Eisler (one son)
Son: Georg (b. 1928, d. 1998)
Wife: Louise Jolesch ("Lou", m. 1937, d. 1998)
Wife: Stephanie Peschl ("Steffi", m. 1958)

    Teacher: Marxist Workers' School, Berlin, Germany
    Professor: German Academy of Music, East Berlin, Germany

    Shot: Battle (1916)
    Hollywood Blacklist
    Deported 1948 (from the United States)
    German Academy of the Arts 1950
    HUAC Hearings
    Heart Attack 1960
    Risk Factors: Depression, Smoking

Author of books:
Composing for the Films (1947, with Theodor Adorno)


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