Department of Special Collections
Washington University Libraries
Washington University in St. Louis

Finding-Aid for the Gert von Gontard Papers (WTU00121)

Finding aid prepared by:
Special Collections Staff

Summary Information
Title: Gert von Gontard Papers
Creator: von Gontard, Gert, 1906-1979, German author and editor
Call number: WTU00121
Language: English

Access and Use:

Hildegard von Gontard

Access Restrictions:


Use Restrictions:

Users of the collections must read and abide by the Application for the use of manuscript collection materials form

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish manuscript collection materials form.

All publication restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.


One of the more unusual collections in Washington University’s Special Collections is that relating to the German author and editor, Gert von Gontard. Von Gontard was the founder and editor of the important literary and political magazine Neue Revue , whose strong anti-Nazi policy expressed in cartoons, articles, and poetry, put him on the Nazis’ “death list” in 1933. Von Gontard fled to the United States where he became an active member of the community of expatriate German artists and literary figures. He was particularly active in developing theatrical projects and, with the important producer-director Max Reinhardt, co-founded The Workshop, a Los Angeles theatrical academy. Upon moving to New York, Von Gontard became an active member of that city’s theatrical community, notably through his efforts at bringing German theatre groups to New York.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

Gert von Gontard’s Papers are part of a larger collection given to Washington University in 1980 by his widow, Hildegard. The collection includes von Gontard’s extensive book collection and is highlighted by his collection of over 1300 books, manuscripts, and memorabilia relating to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Also present in the Papers is a file of letters from von Gontard’s colleagues in the literary and arts communities, the highlights of which are listed below.

Subject Terms

  • Grosz, George, 1893-1959.
  • Kraus, Karl, 1874-1943.
  • Remarque, Erich Maria, 1897-1970.
Contents List
box-folder   1-2-/1-6  
Gert von Gontard Papers, Accrual I   
Scope: Accession 1575

I. Goethiana
box-folder   1/1-4  
I.1 Correspondence from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832
box-folder   1/1  
[Fahlmer, Johanne] ((ALS, 1 p))
box-folder   1/2  
To Unidentified ((ALS, 2 pp))
box-folder   1/3  
Fritsch, Jakob Friedrich von ((ALS, 2 pp))
box-folder   1/4  
[Müller, Friedrich von] ((LS, 1 p))   
Scope: Dictated by Goethe and signed.

I.2 Realia
box-folder   1/5  
Hexen Fest auf dem Blocksberge   
Scope: Illustration from an unknown publication depicting the "Witches Sabbath" or Walpurgisnacht.

Farmhouse [drawing]   
Scope: Original watercolor sketch by Goethe. Framed.

Portrait [etching] of Goethe by Karl Bauer, ca. 1910   
Scope: Signed in pencil by the artist. Framed.

II. Gert von Gontard Memorabilia
box-folder   1/6.1  
II.1 Playbills, programs, and one photograph relating to various theatrical productions with which von Gontard was involved. (5 items)
box-folder   1-2.1/-  
II.2 Three bound scrapbooks of clippings, photographs, and other memorabilia relating to various theatrical productions with which Gert von Gontard was involved. Also, one scrapbook relating to his book, In Defense of Love . (4 items)
II.3 Original pen and ink cartoon sketch by John Collins, staff artist at The Gazette Montreal , relating to von Gontard's book In Defense of Love . The drawing was published in the November 23, 1940 issue. (1 item)   
Scope: Located in oversize.

box-folder   1/6.2  
II.4 Award from Washington University William Greenleaf Eliot Society to Mrs. Gert von Gontard (1 item)
box-folder   2.2/-  
II.5 Gert von Gontard bookplate dies (5 items)
box-folder   2.2-2.3/-  
II.6 Neue Revue framed covers (12 items)
box-folder   3-4/7-21  
Gert von Gontard Papers, Accrual II   
Scope: Accession 1576

I. Correspondence   
Scope: All correspondence is incoming and addressed to Gert von Gontard or jointing to him and his wife. The majority of the letters are written in German. Folders are arranged alphabetically by author and chronologically within each folder.

box-folder   3/7-8  
Bin Gorion, Emanuel, 1903- , Israeli author and translator (81 items)   
Scope: His letters are often signed jointly with his wife, Deborah Bertnotoff, the noted Israeli dancer, and often include clipping announcements, etc. relating to her work. The letters contain numerous enclosures, including typescript drafts of poems and other writings by Bin Gorion.

box-folder   3/9  
Grosz, George, 1893-1959, German artist (12 items)
box-folder   3/10  
Habsburg, Otto von (45 items)   
Scope: His letters are often written jointly with or entirely by his wife, Regina von Hapsburg.

box-folder   3/11  
Landgrebe, Erich, 1908- (7 items)   
Scope: His letters are all ALS and are often written jointly with his wife, Margaret. Letters include numerous drawings as well.

box-folder   3/12  
Reinhardt, Max, 1873-1943, Austrian theatrical director and stage manager (15 items)   
Scope: His letters consists of two TLS and two telegrams from Reinhardt to von Gontard regarding the latter's tenure as a faculty member in the Max Reinhardt workshop which he helped found. Also included are various teaching materials used by von Gontard which at the workshop; an inscribed photo of Helene Reinhardt; exhibition catalogue, first day cover, program, and bookseller's catalog relating to Reinhardt.

box-folder   3/13  
Remarque, Erich Maria, 1897- (4 items)
box-folder   3/14  
Voss, Hans (20 items)   
Scope: One folder of material relating to ca. 1966 publication of Voss poems. Includes typescript draft of poem, and photocopies of published work; typescript [carbon] of biographical material relating to Hans Voss, and typescript [carbon] letters from B______ Wiemer to Emmanual Bin Gorion and Gert von Gontard, as well as typescript [photo] reply from Bin Gorion.

box-folder   3/15-16  
Zuckmayer, Carl, 1896- , German playwright, novelist, and poet (110 items)   
Scope: Ts and auto letters and cards, telegrams, along with numerous auto and ts drafts of poems.

II. Literary Autographs and Memorabilia
box-folder   3/17  
Reimer, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1774-1845, German scholar, literary historian, and teacher of Goethe's son (ALS. 3 pp)
box-folder   3/18  
Wagner, Wilhelm Richard, 1813-1883, German composer (ALS, 4 pp)
box-folder   3/19  
Kraus, Karl, 1874-1936, Austrian author and editor
Der Sterbende Mensch [poem] (Auto, 3 pp)   
Scope: Signed by the author with his auto corrections.

box-folder   3/20  
Photographs. One photo of a painting of Richard Wagner, one photo of a bust of Wagner, framed photo of Gert von Gontard
box-folder   3/21  
Announcements. Handbill for November 20, 1805 performance of Beethoven's Fidelio in Vienna.
box-folder   4/-  
Framed print of Goethe.
box-folder   4/-  
One box of medallions (7 items)
box-folder   4/-  
Framed etchings by unidentified artist (7 items)   
Scope: Searching for one as of 2007: April 17.

Books transferred to Rare Books Division
Marcus Aureluis, Selbstbefrachtungen .
Franz Jung, Gnadenreiche, Unsere Königen. .
Aristophanes, Der Frieder .   
Scope: Possibly von Gontard's director's copy, contains his auto notes.

Emanuel Bin Gorion, Josephus und Jesus. .
[ ], Erinnerungen An Oskar Loerke. .   
Scope: Inscribed by Bin Gorion who contributed to the volume.

box-folder   5/-  
III. Materials Originally Laid in Books   
Scope: Consists of materials tranferred from Rare Books originally laid in books.