89. Langmauerstrasse

The one in Langmauerstrasse, better known as the Bambi-fountain. It is dedicated to Felix Salten, whose most famous work is Bambi, a Life in the Woods (1923).  Born in 1869 in Hungary, Felix Salten was an Austrian author and critic, who played a notable role in the cultural life of Vienna. Amongst other things, he was an authoritative theater critic, founded the city’s first cabaret and wrote operetta librettos and screenplays. In 1938, after the annexation of Austria by the Germans, he was forced to emigrate to Switzerland. He lived in Zurich until his death in 1945.

Salten had the idea for the Bambi during a vacation in the Alps. The name for the main character was taken from the Italian word bambino [baby]. In 1933, Salten sold the film rights to director Sidney Franklin for a scarce $1,000. Franklin later transferred the rights to the Walt Disney studios. The  movie based on Bambi  was finally released in 1942. Apparently, Salten saw the film for the first time at the European premier in Zurich’s Rex movie theater. The actual term of the contract were a matter of dispute. What is clear is that Salten earned very little with his book, and died in poverty.

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