Claire Schlichting

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Claire Schlichting's grave ...
... buried as Klara Hansen

Claire Schlichting (born May 18, 1905 in Elberfeld , today Wuppertal , † April 22, 1978 in Berlin ) was a German actress and comedian .


Claire Schlichting was born out of wedlock as Klara Gerhartz , the only child of a businessman and a teacher's daughter. Her maternal grandfather was the village school teacher Wilhelm Gerhartz (1847–1907), who taught in Brenk in the Rhineland-Palatinate. As a child she attended a ballet school in Barmen, at the age of 15 she decided to become a dancer, worked as an extra at the theater in Wuppertal, sang in the choir and was engaged as a soubrette at 17 . Shortly afterwards she married Herbert Schlichting and had her first child at the age of 19.

During a guest performance in Dresden (the exact year could not be determined) Claire Schlichting got to know the 10 years younger Dane Erik Hansen, who performed together with his sister Ruth as a dancing couple Erik and Ruth Buchardt, after the family name of his mother's partner. Erik Hansen later performed together with Schlichting's son, also under the name Buchardt.

The rulers of the Third Reich had apparently hidden the fact that Claire Schlichting's father was Jewish and that she was therefore considered a Jewish hybrid according to National Socialist terminology . Schlichting performed unmolested on German stages until 1941, when she is said to have been denounced accordingly by unknown sources. Shortly after the birth of their daughter Monika, she married Erik Hansen - thus divorced from Herbert Schlichting in the meantime - and moved with him and the children to Copenhagen, where Hansen had relatives. There she learned Danish, as did her daughter. For a while she worked in a house that also served as the Gestapo's headquarters. Claire Schlichting got involved in a resistance movement and was arrested while trying to free a prisoner, in which she was actively involved. She was subjected to severe abuse during subsequent interrogation, which left her with a lifelong leg problem.

There are different statements about the following time. According to an article in the magazine DON that has already been cited , Claire Schlichting was interned in a concentration camp until 1945 after her arrest, but this time is not discussed in detail. In 1952 she is said to have returned to Germany. In the biography of her grandson Ben Becker , a stay in the camp is not mentioned, but the family is said to have moved back to Germany three years after the end of the war. In an interview with the Jüdische Allgemeine on August 15, 2013, Becker said in connection with the poem Death Fugue by Paul Celan : “'The' death fugue '” is a description of the state. [...] My Jewish grandmother Claire Schlichting experienced that. She just got through the door. "

A joint appearance with the actor Jupp Hussels on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Gildemann-Cigarrenfabriken AG in Soltau, Lower Saxony, which is guaranteed by a report in the Neue Deutsche Wochenschau No. 44 of November 29, 1950, suggests that Claire Schlichting had returned to Germany before 1952. Starting from a return in 1952, she was soon back on stage until she tried to gradually withdraw into private life. For an indefinite period she ran a restaurant in Wichsdos , a house in Düsseldorf's Rheinstrasse 5 , which had been named after him since the late 19th century, and in which she also appeared. She later ran a celebrity pension in Berlin, but returned to the Rhineland after its bankruptcy, where she lived on the 21st floor of a high-rise building in Cologne and continued her career. Towards the end of her life, Claire Schlichting suffered from osteoarthritis, got an artificial hip joint, and later a knee joint, but continued to appear in public. She died on April 22, 1978 in a Berlin hospital and was buried in the forest cemetery in Zehlendorf on Potsdamer Chaussee. (Grabfeld XXI U 105)

Stage career

Claire Schlichting in the winter garden, 1939

After starting out at the theater in Wuppertal, Claire Schlichting played a maid in 1929 in the play Der müde Theodor , a swank by Max Neal and Max Ferner. Here she appeared for the first time in the cleaning lady costume that would later become her trademark, with a bun, mop and an apron, which she said she had bought from a cleaning lady for 2 marks. It was Paul Spadoni who discovered her comic talent and referred her to the legendary Wintergarten in Berlin, where she performed alongside the greats of the time such as her namesake Claire Waldoff (also originally Clara) or Otto Reutter . Her career as a solo entertainer began around 1930, which established her reputation as a "strange old man" at a young age . Her humor was often direct and coarse and often accompanied by clear ambiguities. It is not for nothing that a record sleeve from the post-war period bears the note: "Not suitable for young people under 18". As part of revues or artist events, appearances in cabarets, variety shows and screening programs followed. In addition to the winter garden , the Hansa-Theater in Hamburg, the Frankfurt Schumann-Theater , the Astoria in Bremen or in Munich the German Theater and the Café Annast were some of the venues of her stage career. Schlichting may have had one of her last appearances in Nazi Germany in 1941 at the Apollo Theater in Cologne. Often at these, as at later events after the war, it was the train number and thus the final number of the program.

As already mentioned, Claire Schlichting's career ended around 1941/42, which she was only able to continue in the 1950s. After a renewed engagement at the Hamburg Hansa-Theater followed, after her mentioned time in Düsseldorf and Berlin, carnival appearances and appearances at company parties as well as tours that took her to America and South West Africa. There she made the acquaintance of the heart specialist Prof. Christiaan Barnard . She is said to have rejected his offer to transplant her heart as well, saying that her heart was too big. There is also evidence of two appearances in the Berlin Waldbühne in 1953 and 1954 as part of RIAS productions under the titles RIAS in the Waldbühne and Laughing Waldbühne .

Movie and TV

Claire Schlichting played her only film role in 1939 in the comedy Kornblumenblau at the side of Leny Marenbach and Paul Kemp , directed by Hermann Pfeiffer , also a native of Elberfeld. A few television appearances in entertainment programs are documented from the 1960s onwards, for example in 1961 in musical entertainment , 1963 in The “little ones” of our big ones and in 1966 in two episodes of the Modecocktail series . Her granddaughter Meret Becker also reports on an undated TV appearance with Wim Thoelke , and she and Brigitte Mira appeared on Hans Rosenthal's rate show Dalli Dalli on July 18, 1974 .

The actor dynasty

Claire Schlichting was the founder of the acting dynasty Schlichting-Hansen-Becker.

In her marriage to Herbert Schlichting, she gave birth to her son Herbert Günther, who later also made a career as a comedian and actor under his stage name Jonny Buchardt and was married for a while to the actress Barbara Schöne , with whom he had a son.

Her daughter Monika Hansen from her second marriage to Erik Hansen was married to the actor Rolf Becker . From this connection the son Ben and the daughter Meret emerged. In 1971 Monika Hansen married her colleague Otto Sander .

Meret Becker married the musician and actor Alexander Hacke in 1996 , from whom she separated in 2000 and divorced in 2002. From this marriage a daughter was born. Then she was in a relationship with the musician Danny Bruder , whose father is the late actor Peter Seum .


  • Honorary membership in the GKG Rheinische Garde Blau-Weiß e. V.
  • Gold record for Claire Schlichting - How she sings and laughs , 1969

(In the repeatedly cited DON article, several gold records are mentioned, only the one from 1969 is mentioned by name.)

Discography (selection)

  • Laughing parade with Claire Schlichting and Heinz Schenk , Decca, 1967
  • You laugh tears with Claire Schlichting (part 1), starlet
  • You laugh tears with Claire Schlichting (Part 2), starlet
  • Cheekiness with a heart (part 1), starlet
  • Cheekiness with Heart (Part 2), Starlet (With the remark already quoted: Not suitable for young people under 18 years of age )
  • Claire Schlichting - How she cries and laughs , Telefunken
  • Claire Schlichting's Laughing Parade , Decca
  • The big laughing parade
  • Claire Schlichting - How she sings and laughs

Audio samples


  • 1939: cornflower blue
  • 1961: Musical entertainment
  • 1963: The little ones of our big ones (as Cläre Schlichting)
  • 1966: fashion cocktail (2 episodes)


  • DON Germany's magazine by men for men, issue 11/1978
  • Ben Becker: Well, I dance , Verlag Droemer, 2011, ISBN 978-3-426-27536-8

Web links

Commons : Claire Schlichting  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g DON Germany's magazine by men for men , issue 11/1978, page 50 ff , accessed on March 13, 2015
  2. Hans Schmitz: The tasks of a village school teacher, A look into the Brenker single-class primary school before 1900 , accessed on March 13, 2015
  3. a b c d e Ben Becker: Na und, ich tanze , Verlag Droemer, 2011, p. 36 ff
  4. Ben Becker: More than the death fugue . Jüdische Allgemeine, August 15, 2013, accessed March 13, 2015
  5. Neue Deutsche Wochenschau No. 44/1950 from November 29, 1950 , accessed on March 13, 2015
  6. a b Frechheiten mit Herz , accessed on March 13, 2015
  7. Senioren-Zeitschrift Frankfurt, Issue 3/2008, p. 56 ( Memento of the original from July 10, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 13, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Das Astoria: 1908 to 1967 ( Memento of the original from February 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 13, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Artist honor list of the former "Annastians" , accessed on March 13, 2015
  10. Program for: Apollo on a long journey. A tempo show in 29 pictures , 1941
  11. ( Memento of the original from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 13, 2015  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. TV program of October 27, 1961 , accessed on March 13, 2015
  13. Meret Becker on Grandmother's Footsteps ,, February 4, 2010 , accessed on March 13, 2015
  14., article from November 25, 2011 , accessed on March 13, 2015
  15. ^ Honorary members of the GKG Rheinischen Garde Blau-Weiß e. V. , accessed on March 13, 2015