Ödön von Horváth was a German-writing Austro-Hungarian-born playwright and novelist. Important topics in Horváths works were popular culture, politics and history. He especially tried to warn of the dawn of fascism and its dangers. Among Horváths most enduringly popular works, Jugend ohne Gott describes the youth in Nazi Germany from a disgruntled teachers point of view, who, himself at first an opportunist, is helpless against the racist and militaristic Nazi propaganda that his pupils are subjected to and that de-humanizes them and, at last, loses his job but gains his identity.Having always lived in fear of being struck by lightning, in Paris Horváth was hit by a falling branch and killed during a thunderstorm on the Champs-Élysées, opposite the Théâtre Marigny.
Ödön von Horváth was buried in Saint-Ouen cemetery in northern Paris. In 1988, on the 50th anniversary of his death, his remains were transferred to Vienna and reinterred at the Heiligenstädter Friedhof.Christopher Hamptons play Tales from Hollywood (1984, adapted for television in 1992) portrays a fictional Horváth.
He survives the falling branch and moves to the United States, where expatriate German authors such as Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann write for the motion picture industry.