The Garden of Erben

11 Jul

Dear Flynnstones,

here are the old stomping grounds of Errol`s best bamboozler and favorite friend from Vienna, Hermann Erben. Many letters to and from Flynn bore the adress of the Arenberg Hof at Danneberg Platz 19. The Doc`s top floor apartment was also his medical practice whenever he was back from his worldover trips. It supposedly lacked running water, but had a room with a view. Situated next to Arenberg Park, an oasis within the city, you look straight at one of the monolithic concrete cubes, which were built as bomb shelters in WWII. No use trying to remove it, since blowing it up would leave the surrounding infrastructure in ruins. This towering behemoth serves as perpetual reminder that there still is trouble in paradise.


— shangheinz


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  1. David DeWitt

    July 11, 2022 at 7:11 pm


  2. shangheinz

    July 11, 2022 at 8:40 pm


    Thanks David. Here’s Doc Erben sitting on one of these very park benches.

  3. Jack Marino

    August 1, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    According to Willian Donati the author of “MY DAYS WITH ERROL FLYNN”. William told me that Dr. Erban lived in a two-story home in Vennia, and Willian went INTO the home and interviewed Erben for his book.

    He told me that Dr. Erben lived on the first floor and his ex-wife Joan lived on the second floor. When he entered the home he told me from the floor to the ceiling were boxes of film negatives and prints of his entire life. They were stacked up in the bathroom, hallway, and every room in the house.

    One can only imagine the history of the last century he had in all those boxes. When Dr. Erben died a year or two later his ex-wife Joan, and Willian Donati suspect this because he witnessed their relationship and it was hostile to each other.

    The house caught on fire and burned to the ground. Willian suspected it was his ex-wife who did it to destroy Erben’s life for good. William spent a week there with Dr Erban interviewing him for the final chapter in his book with Buster Wiles

    • shangheinz

      August 2, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      Great to hear back, Jack. Doc Erben may well have had another apartment in Vienna, other than that I was refering to. But this was his official address (Arenbergring 19 at that time), his medical ordination (without running water!) and overall his Man Cave stacked with stuff till under the roof. A neighbor told me you could enter only sideways between a well of (news)papers and such. Erben almost got ousted by the house owner, because there was danger of floor collapsing because of the all the weight. His vast collection of Dia-photos was stored in the cellar and is lost. And so is he with no grave site to be found all over Vienna. Joan Erben as far as I know was indeed estranged and lived in England at the time of her husband`s demise. When she came back to clear Hermann`s household she came across two large stuffed parrots- a reminicense of his days with Errol?