Back to All Events

Book presentation: Peter Bild/Irene Messinger “A Cherry Dress. Kommentierte Memoiren von Anita Bild”

  • Jewish Museum Vienna Dorotheergasse Wien, Wien, 1010 Austria (map)
Photo (c) Verlagsgruppe Vandenhoeck_Ruprecht. Source:

Photo (c) Verlagsgruppe Vandenhoeck_Ruprecht.

The Viennese dancer Anita Bild fled to England at the beginning of 1939 with a domestic service visa. A marriage of convenience with the former Spanish Civil War fighter Donald Douglas enabled her to perform again as a dancer. She organized her parents’ exit to London. They found accommodation in a refugee hostel whose manager, Fritz Bild, Anita later married. She became known as “Anita Douglas – The Viennese Nightingale” and later in the German Department of the BBC.

In 1991, Anita Bild wrote her memoirs for her family, which her son, Peter Bild, has published together with the Viennese exile researcher Irene Messinger. The memoirs are accompanied by scholarly articles of renowned experts. These contributions address her dancing career before and during her exile, the situation of domestic servants in England, and acting persons like Anita’s father, the lawyer Georg Lelewer, the musician Franz Eugen Klein, and her marriage of convenience “spouse.”

Peter Bild and Irene Messinger talk with Katharine Campbell, the niece of Donald Douglas.

Advanced booking requested: Tel.: +43 1 535 04 31-110 or e-mail:

Free admission as of 6:15 p.m.