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Biographical/Historical Information

The author and professor Adolf D. Klarmann was born in Resche (Rzeszów, Poland) in 1904, but received his academic education in New York and in Pennsylvania, where he taught at the German Department of the University of Pennsylvania from 1929 until his death in 1975. Klarmann worked primarily on Austrian literature, and specifically on the work of Franz Werfel, who – together with his wife Alma Werfel – was also a close personal friend.

Alma Schindler was born in Vienna in 1879. She studied with the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, and in 1902 she married the composer Gustav Mahler. From 1915 to 1918 she was married to the architect Walter Gropius. In 1929, she married Franz Werfel. Alma Mahler-Werfel died in New York in 1964.

Franz Werfel was born in Prague in 1890, starting his literary career while working at a publishing company from 1911 to 1914. During WW I, his outspoken pacifism led to a charge of treason. In 1929, Werfel got married to Alma Mahler. They left Austria in 1938 for France, then Spain and finally the United States in 1940. Werfel’s dramas and novels were especially popular in England and in the United States. Franz Werfel died in Beverly Hills, California in 1945.

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Adolf Klarmann, Alma Werfel and Franz Werfel, Leo Baeck Institute, F 11139.