Monday, May 24, 2010

Rudolf Schlichter - Karola Neher

Rudolf Schlichter, Portrait of Karola Neher, 1929

Karola Neher was a well-known actress in Germany during the inter-war period and played Polly Peachum in the 1931 film adaptation of the theatrical hit The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht. Neher was also Brecht’s mistress for a time. A Communist sympathiser, Neher fled to Moscow with her second husband Anatol Becker in 1934. There they became victims of the Stalinist purges, Becker being executed by firing squad in 1937 while Neher was sentenced to ten years in a labour camp. She died of typhoid in a camp in 1942 aged 41. This magnificent portrait was presumed lost until 2007.


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