Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer

Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer (1901–1991) was born Alice Henriette Alberta Herdan-Harris von Valbonne und Belmont in Vienna shortly after her parents’ divorce. As a girl, she was a pupil of the radical education reformist Eugenie Schwarzwald and Alice met her first husband,  the psychologist and future anti-Nazi leader Karl Frank, through Schwarzwald. Her marriage to Frank was short lived and Alice, now living in Berlin with their daughter Michaela, supported herself by acting and with secretarial work, though she hoped to become a doctor. She met the writer Carl Zuckmayer at a party of actors and artists, and the two married in 1925, the same year Zuckmayer was awarded the Kleist Prize for his play The Merry Vineyard. The next year she gave birth to a second daughter, Maria Winnetou. By 1933 Zuckmayer’s works had been banned and the family moved, first to Austria, and then, in 1938, to Switzerland. They emigrated to the United States with the help of the journalist Dorothy Thompson in 1939. After the success of The Farm in the Green Mountains, Herdan-Zuckmayer published two more memoirs, Das Kästchen (The Box), about her childhood, and Das Scheusal (The Monster), about a dog.