Renato Monti Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains documents, including residency permits, letters of recommendation for employment, and correspondence, which illustrate the migration of Leo Balagur from his Ukrainian home to Lviv, Vienna, Berlin, Italy, and finally to the United States. Also present are several oversized theater posters for productions in which Balagur played at venues like the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna (under the direction of Max Reinhardt) and later at the Theater am Nollendorplatz in Berlin.
There are also two compact discs of audio recordings in the LBI A/V Collection.
- Monti, Renato, 1898-1979 (Person)
Language of Materials
This collection is in German, Polish, Ukrainian, English, and Italian.
Open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
Renato Monti was born as Leo Balagur to a middle class family in Medzhybizh, Ukraine in 1898. His father was a lawyer. In 1920 he moved to Lviv and worked a series of jobs, before emigrating to Vienna and embarking on a theatrical career in 1922. After landing several roles, including some smaller parts under the direction of Max Reinhardt at the Theater in der Josefstadt, Balagur emigrated to Berlin and continued working on the stage, and in addition, on the screen. In 1933 he was prohibited by Nazi law from working as an actor due to his Jewish ethnicity. After years of unemployment, he secured backing from a member of the Warburg family to travel to Italy for vocal studies in 1937. Then in 1938, the German government forbade the transfer of money to persons abroad, and Balagur was forced to emigrate to the United States. Upon emigration he changed his name to Renato Monti. Monti found work as a freelance cantor and lived in New York City. He died in 1979.
This collection contains documents, including residency permits, letters of recommendation for employment, and correspondence, which illustrate the theatrical career and migration of Leo Balagur (later Renato Monti) from his Ukrainian home to Lviv, Vienna, Berlin, Italy, and finally to the United States.
Other Finding Aid
An inventory is available in folder 1/1.
- Balagur, Leo, 1898-1979
- Berlin (Germany)
- Bukovina (Romania and Ukraine)
- Cantors (Judaism)
- Italy -- Emigration and immigration
- Jewish actors
- Jews -- Germany -- History -- 1933-1945
- Legal documents
- Medz︠h︡ybiz︠h︡ (Ukraine)
- Monti, Renato, 1898-1979
- Sound recordings
- Theater -- Europe
- Theater am Nollendorfplatz (Berlin, Germany)
- Theater in der Josefstadt (Vienna, Austria)
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- Warburg, Lola Hahn
- Guide to the Renato Monti Collection, 1920-1963 AR 5084
- Processed by LBI Staff
- © 2009
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- August 10, 2011:: Timothy Mendenhall: added container list element for A/V materials.
- September 2010:: Links to digital objects added in Container List.