Bronnen, Arnolt

BORN 19 Aug 1895, Wien - DIED 12 Oct 1959, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Bronner, Arnolt
CAUSE OF DEATH heart disease
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Chausseestrasse (CH-8-27)

Arnolt Bronnen was the son of the author and teacher Ferdinand Bronner. He studied law and philosophy in Vienna. In 1915 he joined the Austrian army and in 1916 he was severely wounded at the Italian front. He was a prisoner of war until 1919. In 1920 he went to Berlin where he worked as a salesman for the Kaufhaus des Westens and had other jobs. In the same year he published "Vatermord". During another job he wrote "Die Septembernovelle" (1923) behind his desk.

"Vatermord" was staged in Frankfurt in 1922 and shocked the public and resulted in further turmoil at other stages. It made him well known. He befriended Bertolt Brecht and cooperated with him several times. From 1928 to 1933 he worked for Funk-Stunde Berlin. He knew Ernst Jünger and Joseph Goebbels and switched from left wing politics to supporting the nazis. Together with the SA he disturbed a speech by Thomas Mann in 1930 at the Beethovensaal in Berlin. In 1930 he married Olga Förster-Prowe, an actress. She was also the lover of Goebbels and it was suspected that they engaged in a ménage à trois after Olga went to Goebbels on the night after her wedding.

From 1934 onwards Bronnen worked for television. Olga killed herself on 11 April 1935 and in 1936 he married Hildegard von Lossow. Their daughters Barbara and Franziska were born in 1938 and 1940. In 1937 he was expelled from the Reichsschrifttumskammer because his father was Jewish. After he proved that he hadn't Jewish characteristics he was readmitted in 1941, but he wasn't allowed to stage his new play "Gloriana" in Munich in 1943. In that same year he joined the resistance against the nazis. He was forced to join the army in Austria, but soon afterwards he was arrested and imprisoned in Vienna. His file was destroyed during a bombing attack on Vienna and he was released afterwards and sent back to the army. But he deserted and joined the resistance once more.

The Americans immediately offered him the mayorship of Goisern and for three months in 1945 he reorganised public life. After that he withdrew from politics. He wrote for the communist paper "Neue Zeit". In 1950 he divorced Hildegard. In 1951 he was engaged as a dramatist at the Neuen Theater in der Scala in Vienna. He married the much younger actress Renate Kleinschmidt-Bertalotti (d.2010) in 1952. With the support of Johannes Becher he returned to Berlin and in 1954 he published his autobiography "Arnolt bronnen gibt zu protokoll". In 1957 he and Renate had a son, Andreas. In 1959 he died of heart disease in East Berlin.

Related persons
• was supported by Becher, Johannes Robert
• cooperated with Brecht, Bertolt
• knew Murnau, Friedrich Wilhelm


The grave of Arnolt Bronnen at the Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (07 Aug 2019)


Berlin Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Berlin
Arnolt Bronnen – Wikipedia

Brontë, Anne

Published: 09 Feb 2020
Last update: 10 Sep 2020