Bertha Zuckerkandl

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Bertha Zuckerkandl (Szeps)

Also Known As: "Berta"
Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Vienna
Death: October 16, 1945 (81)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Moritz Szeps and Amalie Szeps
Wife of Dr. Emil Emanuel Zuckerkandl
Mother of Fritz Zuckerkandl
Sister of Sophie Clemenceau; Leo (Leon) Szeps; Dr. Julius Szeps and Eleonora Szeps

Occupation: journalist, author
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:

About Bertha Zuckerkandl

Bert(h)a Zuckerkandl-Szeps, born Bert(h)a Szeps (April 13, 1864, Vienna - October 16, 1945, Paris) was an Austrian writer, journalist, and critic. She was the daughter of Galician Jewish liberal newspaper publisher Moritz Szeps and was raised in Vienna.

  • Born 1864 Num. 10 Wien Szeps Bertha Moriz/Schlesinger Amalia

Berta married the Hungarian anatomist Emil Zuckerkandl:

  • Year 1886 [April 15], Numerative 303, Volume Stadttempel
  • Last Name Szeps First Name Berta
  • Last Name Zuckerkandl First Name Emil (Emanuel) Dr.

From end of the 19th century until 1938, Bertha led an important literary salon in Vienna, originally from a villa in Döbling, later in the Oppolzergasse area. Many famous Viennese artists and personalities including Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Max Reinhardt, Arthur Schnitzler and others frequented the salon. Protégés of the salon include Anton Kolig and Sebastian Isepp of the Nötsch Circle. Her sister Sofie Szeps (aka Sophie) was married to Paul Clemenceau, the brother of the French President Georges Clemenceau, and, therefore, she also had ties to Parisian artistic circles. She also translated a number of plays from French to German and was a co-founder of the Salzburg Music Festival.

In "The Power of Conversation," Jennifer Weisberg (Jewish Quarterly, Spring 2005) writes "the idea of the kulturbeflissene or assiduously cultured Jewish salonière reached its apex in Berta Szeps Zuckerkandl, in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The daughter of newspaper editor Moritz Szeps, she grew up in a well-to-do, progressive environment, exposed at an early age to the highest corridors of power through her father’s friendships with Crown Prince Rudolf and Georges Clemenceau. Intimately connected with the creation of the Vienna Secession and a close confidante of Gustav Klimt, she introduced Gustav Mahler to Alma Schindler. Zuckerkandl was a successful art critic and journalist, and hosted a salon that became a refuge for the avant-garde, decidedly in opposition to the social culture of the Habsburg aristocracy. Finding Viennese social life to be needlessly ‘correct and boring’, Zuckerkandl yearned to create ‘a meeting place for all intellectual stirrings, a rallying point for all modern thinkers and strivers’. . . Poised as they were in the vanguard of modernity, they adeptly maneuvered between worlds, Jewish and gentile, male and female, public and private, and created an astonishingly fruitful synthesis of them all. Measured in the light of their guests’ achievements, they appear merely as midwives to the creative process. Yet, without their hospitality, their charismatic energy and, above all, the power of their conversation, the birth of the modern world would have been a much more arduous one."

In 1938, Berta emigrated to Paris and later to Algiers. See photo and article in, 2011.


  • Die Pflege der Kunst in Österreich 1848-1898.
  • Dekorative Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. Wien, 1900
  • Zeitkunst Wien 1901-1907. Heller, Wien, 1908
  • Ich erlebte 50 Jahre Weltgeschichte. Bermann-Fischer Verlag, Stockholm, 1939
  • Clemenceau tel que je l'ai connu. Algier, 1944
  • Österreich intim. Erinnerungen 1892-1942. Propyläen, Frankfurt/Main, 1970 (paperback edition: Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main, 1988; ISBN 3-548-20985-8)

Further reading

Lucian O. Meysels: In meinem Salon ist Österreich. Berta Zuckerkandl und ihre Zeit. 3. A. Herold, Wien 1985 ISBN 3-7008-0263-3

Berta Zuckerkandl 1864-1945, by Elana Shapira, in Jewish Womens' Archive encyclopedia online.

Berta Zuckerkandl (b. 1864) wird als Tochter des Verlegers und Zeitungsmachers Moritz Szeps (Intimus von Kronprinz Rudolph) in Wien/ Leopoldstadt geboren. In ihrem Salon in der Oppolzergasse (Innere Stadt) treffen sich erstmals Gustav Mahler und Alma Schindler. „Die Hofrätin“ arrangiert dort auch die Begegnung von Max Reinhardt und Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Unter der Führung von Gustav Klimt entsteht im Salon die „Wiener Secession“. Nach dem „Anschluss“ 1938 muss Berta Zuckerkandl emigrieren - sie flieht nach Frankreich und später nach Algerien. Berta kann das Ende des „1000-jährigen Dritten Reiches“ noch miterleben und stirbt in Paris im Oktober 1945.

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Bertha Zuckerkandl's Timeline

April 13, 1864

Year 1864
Numerative 10
Code 1
Volume Wien
Last Name Szeps
First Name Bertha
Parents/Annotation Moriz/Schlesinger Amalia

Age 30
October 16, 1945
Age 81