Donna Rifkind tells the little-known story of screenwriter Salka Viertel, whose salons in 1930s and 40s Hollywood created a refuge for a multitude of famous figures who had escaped the horrors of World War ll.
Hollywood was created by its “others”; by women, Jews, and immigrants. Salka Viertel was all three and much more. Viertel was once the highest-paid writer on the MGM lot. She was the screenwriter for five of Greta Garbo's movies and her most intimate friend. She opened her door to scores of European émigrés who had fled from Hitler—including Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and Arnold Schoenberg—along with Hollywood stars like Charlie Chaplin and Shelley Winters. A vital presence in the golden age of Hollywood, Salka Viertel is long overdue for her own moment in the spotlight.
A book signing follows the event.