Habe, Hans

BORN 12 Feb 1911, Budapest - DIED 29 Sep 1977, Locarno, Ticino
BIRTH NAME Békessy, János
CAUSE OF DEATH glandular disease
GRAVE LOCATION Ascona, Ticino: Cimitero Comunale, Via Losone (G2)

János Békessy came to Vienna with his parent after the First World War. His father Imre Békessy published one of the first tabloids in Vienna and caused several scandals. Karl Kraus fought him in his publications and after Kraus wrote "Jagt den Schuft aus Wien" in Die Fackel, Imre Békesy returned to Budapest. János stayed in Vienna iwth his mother and attended the Franz-Joseph-Gymnasium from 1921 to 1929. He wanted to study law in Heidelberg, but his Jewish background forced him to return to Vienna.

In Vienna he chose the pseudonym Hans Habe and from 1930 onwards he worked as a jornalist for the Wiener Sonn- und Montagsport. In 1931 he became the editor of the Österreichischen Abendzeitung. He married Margit Bloch. In 1934 he switched to the Wiener Morge and for some weeks he worked for Heimwehr, a fascist publication from Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg. When he found out that Mussolini was one of the financers he withdrew from that publication.

From 1935 to 1939 he worked for the Pragter Tagblatt. His first novel "Drei über die Grenze" was published in 1936. In 1938 he attended the conference of Evian. By that time he had married his second wife, the heiress Erika Levy. After Austria became part of Germany in 1938, he went into exile in France. He joined the French Foreign Legio and fought the Germans. In 1940 he was imprisoned and imprisoned in camp Drancy near Paris. He was able to escape and with his wife he travelled to Spain and Portugal. From there they moved into the USA. In 1942 he married Eleanor Pos Hutton, the heiress of General Food Inc. He entered the department of psychological warfare of the US Army. After the war he returned to Germany where he founded 18 newspapers in the zone that was occupied by the Americans. In Munich he founded the Neue Zeitung and for that newspaper he worked wuth Erich Kästner and Stefan Heym.

Between 1946 and 1953 he wrote several screenplay for Hollywood movies. In 1946 he married the actress Ali Ghito. He divorced her in Mexico and married another actress, Eloise Hardt, in 1948. But his divorce was invalid and he was sued for bigamy. In 1953 the divorce became official. In 1951 he had a daughter with Hardt, Marina Elizabeth, who was problably killed by Charles Manson on 1 January 1969. In 1953 he settled in Ascona. In 1954 he met his last wife, the actress and singer Licci Balli and he married her in the same year. During the following years he wrote political columns from a conservative view. He died in 1977 in Locarno.

• Wife: Balla, Licci (1955-1977, Salzburg)

Related persons
• cooperated with Kästner, Erich


The grave of Hans Habe and Licci Balli at the Cimitero Comunale in Ascona, Ticino.
Picture by Androom (16 Feb 2019)


Hans Habe – Wikipedia

Habicht, Julius

Published: 23 Mar 2019
Last update: 30 May 2020