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August 10, 2020


Donna Rifkind

That is not Salka Viertel in the photograph with Greta Garbo.

There is no evidence that Salka Viertel and Greta Garbo ever had a "fling." They first met at Ernst Lubitsch's house, not at one of Salka's parties.

Salka Viertel lived in Klosters, Switzerland, not Kloster.

Much more information is available in my book The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood (New York: Other Press, Jan. 2020).


Lawrence Wechsler in the Paris Review identified the photo as that of SV and GG.


I've added your book to my reading list.

Donna Rifkind

Thank you. This photo has been floating around the internet for a long time, and many scholars have made the same error. I believe the woman in the photo is the actress Francoise Rosay, a good friend of Viertel's.

Núria Añó

Hi, David Vickrey, your review about my book "The Salon of Exiled Artists in California" is much appreciated. Yes, it was a long work on research and I am glad if this biography of Jewish scriptwriter and salonnière Salka Viertel shows how fascinating this woman was for its time. All the best!

Ruth viertel

That is not a picture of my mother-in-law, Salka Viertel.She was not blond,had very curly hair, was not that tall and had a more open smile and face.

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