Portly comic character actor of the 1920's and 30's. The son of a Jewish banker, he briefly worked as editor and publisher of a satirical newspaper before becoming a cabaret artiste. His popularity in silent films continued unabated into the sound era. After making his last motion picture in Paris in 1938, he went into exile in Amsterdam to perform in cabaret along with Kurt Gerron. He lived in hiding from the Nazis until February 1944, when he was arrested and then murdered at Auschwitz eight months later.
Military service in World War I, wounded in action and decorated with the Iron Cross.
The actor Otto Wallburg began at the "Deutsches Theater" in Berlin when he was 20 years old.
At the beginning of his career he was employed as youthful heroes, but when he put on weight after World War I he thought his actor career has ended. Therefore turned to stage direction. But his fears were unfounded. Soon they developed his comical talent and he was staged as the funny fat person.
The Nazi period gave him a hard time too. His application for integration within the Reichskulturkammer was refused.
Before he adopted his stage name his real name was Otto Maximilian Wasserzug.
The strong emaciated and diabetic Otto Wallburg was brought into KZ Westerborg, afterwards he was deported via KZ Theresienstadt to KZ Auschwitz. There he was killed at the end of 1944.
In 1926 he was obligated by the legendary theater producer Max Reinhardt. In the same year Wallburg appeared for the first time in a film with the title "Die keusche Susanne" (1926). Soon he became established as a popular actor and he appeared with nearly all stars in those days - normally in supporting roles.
In 1937 he emigrated to the Netherlands and one year later they withdrew the German nationality from him in a public announcement.
The security which Wallburg found in the Netherlands didn't take long. In 1940 the German Wehrmacht marched into the Netherlands. A life in the underground began for Otto Wallburg. He and his wife Ilse Rein could avoid an arrest wave in 1943 but fell victim to a denunciation and were arrested early in 1944. An eight-month lasting life of suffering began.
In 1934 he emigrated to Vienna where he found work at Joe Pasternak's Universal Production.
The 30's still offered Wallburg interesting parts. Because of his speech he was also affectionate called "Der Blubberer".