Gilbert, Robert

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Gilbert, Robert Gender: M
David Robert Winterfeld
born on 29 September 1899 at 05:00 (= 05:00 AM )
Place Berlin, Germany, 52n29, 13e21
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 05°47' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 03°43 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 23°46'


German composer of light music, lyricist, singer, and actor. Sometimes described as a "divided author", his early depression-era poem "Stempellied" about living on the dole was set to music by Hanns Eisler. But "Am Sonntag will mein Süsser mit mir segeln gehen" ("On Sunday I'll go sailing with my Sweetheart") and "Das gibt's nur einmal" ("It Happens Only Once"), became his better known works. A record of his work with titles of the nearly 400 songs he wrote as well as the five volumes of his poetry, and many personal letters can be found at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

His father was Max Winterfeld, a composer and conductor who went by the pen name of Jean Gilbert. His brother was Henry Winterfeld, an author of children's books.

When Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933 and the first of the Nuremberg laws were enacted, Jews were denied access to work in theater, film, music or any arts or entertainment occupations or venues. And Gilbert along with his family fled Berlin. The next years were spent in Vienna, where Gilbert learned the Viennese dialect and continued writing poetry as the Nazi influence gained strength until Austria welcomed Hitler in 1938. Since Jews were not allowed to travel, it was only with great difficulties that he escaped from Austria to France and from there to America in 1939.

For ten years, Gilbert, his wife Elke and their daughter Marianne lived in Riverdale, a suburb of New York City. Despite improving his American English, Gilbert's efforts to reach the Broadway theaters were unsuccessful and in 1949, he returned to Europe. There the post-war theater and film industry was reviving, not in Berlin, which was still a divided city, but in Munich. Gilbert was welcomed upon his return and in 1950 he had a successful one-man theatrical evening. After the end of the wartime ban on works by Jewish writers and composers, his earlier songs were played everywhere. These continued to provide some income.

In the 1950s he entered a second marriage and, after the birth of the couple's son, Stefan, Gilbert moved with his new family to Locarno in Switzerland's Tessin region. Then in the 1960s he embarked on a successful second career translating American Broadway musicals. A former close boyhood friend, Frederick (Fritz) Loewe introduced Gilbert to his collaborator, Alan Jay Lerner, and that meeting resulted in a string of major hits – the German translations of Annie Get Your Gun, Hello Dolly, Gigi, My Fair Lady and Man of La Mancha. All of these international hit shows are still played in revivals in many theaters throughout German-speaking countries.

Gilbert died in Locarno, Switzerland, on 20 March 1978, aged 78.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Heymann, Werner R. (born 14 February 1896). Notes: Music collaborators
  • child->parent relationship with Gilbert, Jean (born 11 February 1879)


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth record from Berlin City Archives.


  • Family : Childhood : Family noted
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer (Lyricist)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc.