Trude und Elvis. Wien – Memphis – Hollywood

Trude Forsher became the private secretary of Elvis Presley in the 1950s. She was born in 1920 into a Viennese Jewish family. In August 1938 she managed to escape the Nazi terror and also succeeded in rescuing her family. She came to New York via London. From there she continued her journey to Hollywood, a fascinating destination. In the United States Trude contacted her distant relatives from Vienna, the music producers Jean and Julian Aberbach. Their publishing house Hill and Range Songs worked with a number of Elvis’ composers and Trude got the job many teenagers envied her for: She started to work for Elvis Presley and his manager Colonel Tom Parker in Hollywood. Some of Elvis’ associates and friends were Jews. A fact that was not self-evident at that time for a protestant form the South. After working with Elvis, Trude founded her own TV production company together with Adolph Zukor II, the grandson of the legendary filmmogul. Later in her life she initiated and supported social projects for divorced women and received many awards. Trude Forsher’s son James provides the Jewish Museum Vienna outstanding objects from the early days of the US showbiz.

Curator: Marcus G. Patka


Photo (c) James Forsher Estate