Fred Halbers was an actor, artist, and writer born as Fritz Josef Halberstaedter in Berlin in 1894. He studied at the Max Reinhardt drama school for two years before serving in the German Army during the First World War. After his dismissal in 1918, he worked as an actor, director, and stage designer for theaters in various German cities. He became a house painter and learned the craft of producing imitation marble in 1933, once the Nazis instated a stage ban for Jews. These skills helped secure him a visa in 1939, when Halbers and his wife escaped to London and emigrated to La Paz, Bolivia. He established himself as a painter, engraver, art conservator, writer, and translator. He continued to pursue his art career after settling in New York in 1954 and became a specialist in restoring pre-Columbian art. Halbers retired to Argentina in 1969, where he died in the early 1990s, though the exact year is not known.
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Halbers, Fred: Young German Immigrant, Leo Baeck Institute, 87.39.