Dessau, Paul

BORN 12 Dec 1894, Hamburg: Hohler Weg 21 - DIED 28 Jun 1979, Königs Wusterhausen, Brandenburg
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Chausseestrasse (CH (1. Weg li., li. S.))

Paul Dessau was born into a musical family. He studied the violin at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin and was also educated as a composer. In 1913 he had a daughter with his lover Jessica Peters, Therese (1913-1978). After an engagement in Bremen as assistant musical director in 1914 he was called to arms in 1915.

After the war he worked in Hamburg and Cologne (1919-1923), where Otto Klemperer was his boss. In 1923 he became musical director in Mainz in 1925 musical director at the Städtische Oper Berlin. He married the actress and songwriter Gudrun Kabisch on 1 Jun 1924. They had a son and a daughter, but they separated in 1936.

When the nazis came to power in 1933 he moved to France and in 1939 he left for the USA, where he lived in New York and Hollywood. In 1943 he married his second wife Elisabeth Hauptmann and with her he moved to East Berlin after the war. He divorced her in 1952 and married Antje Ruge. Another divorce followed and in 1954 Ruth Berghaus became his wife. Their son Maxim became a movie director.

From 1957 to 1963 he was vice president of the Academy of Arts in East Berlin. he wrote the music for "Mutter Courage" and also composed the opera's "Der Verurteilung des Lukullus" and "Einstein".

• Wife: Hauptmann, Elisabeth (1949-1952, Los Angeles, California)
• Wife: Berghaus, Ruth (1954-1979)

Related persons
• cooperated with Brecht, Bertolt
• was sculpted by Mucchi-Wiegmann, Jenny


The grave of Paul Dessau at the Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (26 Mar 2007)


• Mende, Hans-Jürgen, Lexicon Berliner Grabstätten, Haude & Spener, 2006
Paul Dessau - Wikipedia

Dessoulavy, Thomas

Published: 26 Sep 2010
Last update: 27 Jan 2022