Ralph Erwin

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Ralph Erwin
BornOctober 31, 1896
Bielitz, Silesia
Austro-Hungarian Empire
DiedMay 15, 1943(1943-05-15) (aged 46)
Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp, Loiret

Ralph Erwin (1896–1943), originally Erwin Vogl, was the Austrian-born French composer of a number of film scores.


Erwin Vogl was born in Bielitz, in the part of Silesia which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He served in the Austrian Army during the First World War.

After the war, Erwin established himself as a leading German songwriter. He had a great success with I Kiss Your Hand, Madame ("Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame"), which featured in the film of the same title of 1929. The song became the signature tune of Richard Tauber,[1] and Bing Crosby also later sang an English version, in The Emperor Waltz (1948)

Erwin had Jewish origins and, following the Nazi rise to power in 1933, he went into exile in France. There, he continued to work on film scores.

Erwin was still in the country during Nazi Occupation of France and was eventually arrested. He died in the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Symonette & Kowalke p.221


  • Symonette, Lys & Kowalke, Kim H. Speak Low (When You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. University of California Press, 1997.

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