A new edition will be released on June 12, 2020: Briefwechsel Alma Mahler – Allert de Lange Verlag, a publication of the Gustav Mahler Stichting Nederland, delivered by Matthijs Boumans and Eveline Nikkels.

In March 1940, Alma Mahler’s book Gustav Mahler, Erinnerungen und Briefe was published by the Dutch publisher Allert de Lange. It was an exciting time because an upcoming catastrophe was in the air, but was not felt by many yet. Because there was no place in Vienna from 1938 for a publication with a “Jewish touch,” Alma decided to move to Amsterdam and contacted Allert de Lange.

Dr. Landauer bringt jetzt mein Mahlerbuch heraus. Die Stunde ist ungunstig – aber wann wird sie gunstiger sein (Dr. Landauer is now publishing my Mahler book. The hour is bad – but when will it be better)? Alma Mahler, 09-02-1940.

In preparation for her planned publication, Alma Mahler corresponded with Walter Landauer (1902-1944), the leader of the German-speaking division of the publishing house, but it did not stop there. Our investigation revealed that both also corresponded with Ernst Polak, a literary critic and friend of Franz Werfel (1890-1945), who provided critical comments to Alma’s manuscript, which she had already started in the 1920s, and did not spare her!

The correspondence between Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and Walter Landauer (1902-1944) is included in the Briefwechsel in its entirety. The most relevant of the letters from and to Ernst Polak are included. The Briefwechsel contains a total of 134 letters.

In addition to the letters, this (illustrated) edition also contains a foreword and afterword, an introduction, footnotes and endnotes, and a register of persons. On the front we see Alma with a defiant look, on the back is an interesting comment from Marina Mahler about her grandmother. All texts are in German.

The total volume is 212 pages. The intention was of course to offer this publication during the Mahler festival. That may not have been the case, but we are proud that we can now offer it, as it were, in the wake of it. It is a true document humain in which Alma’s fear of the future is also increasingly tangible.

To order

The price is € 25 per copy. For the Netherlands the packaging and shipping costs are € 6 and for abroad € 15. We request that you transfer the required amount (€ 31 and € 40 per copy) to bank account number IBAN NL 29 INGB 0000 145677 t.n.v. Gustav Mahler Stichting Nederland in Alkmaar, stating your name, full address and the number of copies. 

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