Berg, Smaragda

BORN 11 Sep 1886, Wien - DIED 14 Dec 1954, Wien
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 10, Reihe 04, Nummer 14)

Smaragda Berg was the daughter of the merchant Conrad Berg (1846-1900) from Nuremberg. She was also the sister of the composer Alban Berg. She was a lesbian and her first love may have been Marie Gutheil-Schoder. She was also interested in Anna Nahowski, who married her brother. In 1906 or 1907 she was painted by Richard Gerstl.

She married Adolf Freiherr von Eger on 21 April 1907. Shortly afterwards she wrote to Helene Berg that she was very unhappy. She divorced Von Eger on 23 December 1907. On 9 October 1908 she tried to commit suicide with laughing gas but she failed. In Vienna she knew both Karl Krauss and Peter Altenberg well.

After her divorce she lived in Munich where she hang out with Frank Wedekind's "Die elf Scharfrichter". One of them was Marya Delvard and possibly they went to Paris together. In Paris she met the Spanish dancer Anita Sunen. In a letter to her mother in 1910 she mentioned her as her heir, but their relationship ended. In 1912 she went to Berlin with Maria "May" Keller. There she worked as a repetitor for Frida Leider and Lula Mysz-Gmeiner. In 1919 she returned to Austria with Keller. In they 1920 they often travelled by car. She had affairs with her brother Hermann Berg's (1872-1921) wife Alice and with others, but she lived with Keller until 1934.

After their relationship ended she financially supported Keller, but she had trouble finding an occupation in Vienna herself. She worked as a piano teacher, but she was poor at the time of her death in 1954.

Related persons
• performed with Bahr-Mildenburg, Anna von
• is brother/sister of Berg, Alban
• knew Delvard, Marya
• worked for Deman-Leider, Frida
• was painted by Gerstl, Richard
• knew Kraus, Karl
• knew Schönberg, Arnold


The grave of Smaragda Berg at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (03 Sep 2022)


queerplaces - Smaragda Berg von Eger

Bergen, Anna Sofie

Published: 25 Sep 2022
Last update: 17 Sep 2023