After the couple left Saarbrücken, Trauneck had difﬁculty in securing a position as a 'Kapellmeister'. He was employed for part of the 1926/27 season in Mainz, followed by a short period in Oldenburg, a town in Lower Saxony, and for the season 1927/28 at the theatre in Reichenberg which was at the time the capital of the Sudetenland. In summer 1928 he returned to Vienna. The scandal of Saarbrücken was most likely the reason why Trauneck decided to formally change his name from Travnicek to the more Germanic Trauneck. The name change was undertaken before a Viennese magistrate on 25 July 1928.1
If Trauneck had thus attempted to disguise the scandal, the strategy seems to have worked: the same year he was appointed musical director of the State Theatre in Rudolstadt. In 1929 he married Lisbeth. Exactly when he was divorced from Hilde Horner is not known; possibly it was at the same time as he changed his name.
The small town of Rudolstadt in Thuringia, with 260 years of theatre history, provided a job with good prospects for Trauneck.2 The 24-member orchestra, although small, enjoyed a reputation as an excellent ensemble with ﬁrst-class musicians. The repertoire between 1928 and 1930 reﬂects productions which were among Trauneck's favourites as a conductor: Così fan tutte, Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann, Tannhäuser, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Barbiere di Seviglia and in particular Jenufa by Janáček.3 In autumn 1929, Trauneck mentioned anti-Semitic social currents for the ﬁrst time. He described the everyday animosity in a letter to Eduard Steuermann:
'Also I do hope that you are well, much better. However I'm not well. This is not because I do not have a Seipel4, but! . . . They always say: 'The Jews, let me tell you' . . . even if I don't want to be in Palestine now, to be in Rudolstadt is not that great either.'5
After elections on 23 January 1930, Thuringia became the ﬁrst German province in which the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) was represented in the Government. Wilhelm Frick became Minister of the Interior and of Education in the Thuringian government [Thüringische Landesregierung].6 He was thus the ﬁrst elected National-Socialist minister in a German provincial government.7 When it became publicly known that Trauneck was of Jewish descent and married to a Jewish wife, he was suspended from his position as music director in 1932, a full year before the Nazis came to power. During his last year in Rudolstadt, he had started to ask some of his friends and colleagues such as Steuermann to assist him in leaving Germany:
'If it is nowadays best not to be too demanding, all the same I have to say that what I was forced to experience over the past months was more than a person could bear. I have finally to face reality and pack my bags, and look for another, more prosperous, future. . . . I ask you, please, dear Mr. Steuermann, if you have some spare time to consider how you could help me. . . . I really don't know how I should go about it and I'm pretty much at my wits' end.'8
After he had left Rudolstadt he spent one summer season in Kolberg on the Baltic Sea, and his last theatre season (1932-33) in Germany was in Stralsund, where some of the orchestra members were already performing in SA (Sturm-Abwehr) uniforms.