1883 (Wildenschwert, Bohemia) - 1942 (KZ Auschwitz-Monowitz)Songwriter
"O Buchenwald … We will say yes to life / For the day will come when we are free!"
Fritz Löhner-Beda (also known as Fritz Beda-Löhner) was born as Fritz Löwy in Wildenschwert (Ústí nad Orlicí) in Eastern Bohemia on 24 June 1883. He studied law and obtained his doctorate in law from the University of Vienna in 1905. Before World War I he wrote satires; in 1920 he published a book of poetry entitled Ecce ego. In 1928 he achieved world fame for the libretto of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Land of Smiles. He also composed the lyrics for hits such as Ausgerechnet Bananen, In der Bar zum Krokodil, O Donna Clara and Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren, in 1933 Dein ist mein ganzes Herz and Gern hab‘ ich die Frauen geküßt, and wrote screenplays. He became vice-president of the Austrian writers’ association and president of the Jewish football club of Vienna, "Hakoah".
Löhner-Beda was arrested at the end of March 1938, immediately after the German invasion of Austria, and on 1 April deported to Dachau Concentration Camp on the so-called “Prominententransport”, the first transport of Austrians. In September 1938 he was transferred to Buchenwald, where he worked in the sock-darning shop and, from September 1939 onward, in the gardening detachment. He hoped in vain that Franz Lehár would take a stand in favour of his release. In the camp he participated in cabaret performances for fellow inmates. In 1938 he wrote the lyrics of the Buchenwald Song that Hermann Leopoldi set to music. In October 1942 Fritz Löhner-Beda was deported to Auschwitz-Monowitz Concentration Camp.
During a morning roll call, he was beaten so severely by an SS man that he died of his injuries on 4 December 1942.