OSSI OSWALDA: BEAUTIFUL GERMAN SILENT FILM STAR

POSTCARD 1

                                                    ossi                           POSTCARD 2

 

                                                                  This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5502_0001.jpgPOSTCARD 3

The beautiful actress seen in the top vintage real photo postcard is named Ossi Oswalda (1897-1947). She was born in Germany and appeared predominately in silent films. She was a leading lady, popular comedienne,  dancer, and singer. Due to her popularity, she  was known as “the German Mary Pickford”. Ossi began her career as a ballerina and she danced in a chorus line for a theater in Berlin. She made her film debute in “Night of Horrors” (1916) and was noticed by actor/screenwriter Hanns Kraly, who introduced her to director Ernst Lubitsch. Oswalda’s early career began with appearances in several Lubitsch films. In 1921, she and her husband started a film production company that produced four films over four years, all starring Miss Oswalda. After 1925, she was under contract to UFA, a German film company. After the transition to “talkies”, Oswalda joined the ranks of actresses and actors, who’s career took a nose dive. She only acted in two sound films. Her final screen appearance was in “The Star of Valencia”. She then began acting on the stage. She appeared in operettas in Germany and Vienna. When the National Socialists took power in Germany, she emigrated to Prague with her “Jewish life partner”, Julius Aubenberg. In 1943, she wrote a story for a Czechoslovakian film. In summarizing Ossi’s career, the IMDb credits her with 51 film appearances,  producing 5 films, and 1 screen writing credit. It is reported that she frequently played child-like spoiled women. She appeared in drag in at least one film. Oswalda’s first marriage (1919-1925) was to a Hungarian baron. After her divorce, the actress began a highly publicized romantic relationship with Crown Prince Willhelm (1882-1951). Simultaneously, the actress Lily Damita, was having an affair with the Prince’s son. The royal family put a kibosh to both “inappropriate” relationships. In 1947, she died in Prague at age 48, bankrupt and suffering from multiple health problems. This German real photo postcard is published by Ross Verlag soemetime between 1919 and 1924. The photograph of Miss Oswalda was taken by Becker & Maass of Berlin. Note her pretty hat and fan. Hopefully, she wasn’t allergic to feathers. Oswalda was young when this photograph was taken. She was beautiful and no older than 27 years of age. The YouTube clip below features Ossie Oswalda in the “The Doll” (1919), directed by Ernst Lubitsch.               

Postcard 2 features Miss Oswalda in a very skimpy costume. Her feathered hat is quite showy . She has a wonderful smile and pretty eyes. This risque postcard was part of  a series (no. 1050/2) and published by Ross Verlag of Berlin, Germany. The logo of UFA, a German film company, appears on the lower right hand corner of the postcard. The reverse of the postcard reveals that that the photographer is Strobl J. Nandor of Budapest, Hungary. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

  Postcard 3 is a German real photo postcard that was published by Ross Verlag. Miss Oswalda’s photo was taken by celebrity photographer Alex Binder.   (SOLD)

POSTCARD 3

THE TRAGIC LIFE OF STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS MARIA ORSKA

This vintage real photo postcard features stage and film actress Maria Orska (1893-1930). She was a major star in Germany during the 1920’s. She was born in Russia and her birth name was Rachel Blindermann. She was born into a Jewish family that lived close to Odessa in the Russian Federation. Today, her birthplace is located in the Ukraine. Her father was a lawyer. Just prior to World War I she moved to Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin. Orska must have been bright because she was fluent in German, French, Italian, Russian, and Polish. In Berlin, she worked with Rudolf Bernauer, Max Reinhard, and other well known directors. She became popular in Germany for her film parts, though she favored theater. Her first movie was “Damon Und Mensch” (1915) and it was produced by Jules Greenbaum, a pioneer of the German cinema. Oscar Kokoschka, an Austrian artist, drew Orska’s portrait, and lithographs of the work are now part of several museum’s collections. Orska married a much older man who was an influential Jewish banker from Berlin. They married in 1920 and divorced in 1925. Her next significant relationship was with a wealthy Jewish industrialist and geologist named Julius Heinrich Koritschoner from Vienna, Austria. In 1928 he fatally shot himself, leaving Orska a letter. Koritschoner’s morphine addiction was thought to have led to his suicide. Orska’s sister had committed suicide just two years earlier. She committed the act of self destruction just after having an intense argument with Maria. Orska was extremely popular in Central Europe during the 1920’s. The IMDb credits Maria Orska with 14 movie appearances between 1915 and 1923. She was seen as an extraordinary actress and her photographs appeared on many magazine covers and postcards. Suicide had taken the lives of her ex husband and her sister; and she too, eventually succumbed to self-annihilation. She committed suicide in 1930 while in Vienna. It was speculated that, like her ex-husband, morphine addiction resulted in her suicide. Here is some information about this postcard. It was published by Film Sterne. Around 1916 Rotophot began publishing three series of postcards with the RPH logo (see bottom left corner of above image).The first series was called “Buhnen-Sterne” (stage stars) and was comprised of German stage performers. The second series was named “Film Sterne” (film stars) and this postcard portrait of Maria Orska is part of that series (no. 118/1). The third set of postcards, “Film Sterne” (film scenes) showed scenes from German films and identified both the film and the performers. The photographer of this postcard portrait of Miss Orska, was the Becker & Maass studio, located in Berlin.    SOLD