Ernst German

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ernst Deutsch 1927 on a photo by Alexander Binder
Ernst Deutsch in his private training room, 1931
Julo Levin : Ernst Deutsch (no year)

Ernst Deutsch alias Ernest Dorian (born September 16, 1890 in Prague , Bohemia , Austria-Hungary ; died March 22, 1969 in West Berlin ) was an Austrian actor .


The actor Ernst Deutsch was the son of the Prague merchant Ludwig Deutsch and Louise Kraus. In 1922 he married his childhood friend Anuschka Fuchs from Prague. She was the daughter of the Prague industrialist Arthur Fuchs and Margarethe Ehrenzweig from Vienna. Her cousin Herbert Fuchs von Robettin was married to her sister Franz Werfels .


Deutsch grew up in Prague's old town and attended grammar school there. After graduating from high school, he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army as a one-year volunteer .

He was Franz Werfel's childhood friend in Prague and remained so for a lifetime; both couples lived close together in California and visited each other frequently. As a tennis player, Deutsch moved up to 7th place in the Austro-Hungarian rankings.

In 1914 Deutsch made his stage debut under Berthold Viertel at the Vienna Volksbühne. After a short season in Prague, Edgar Licho hired him for the Albert Theater in Dresden , where he moved in 1916. There he played the role of Franz Moor in Schiller's Die Räuber and the role of Moritz Stiefel in Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening . He took on the title role in Walter Hasenclever's drama The Son and became famous as an expressionist actor. The work, which premiered on October 8, 1916, took place within a matinee in front of invited guests such as the royal Saxon artistic director, Count Seebach . In 1917 he went to the Deutsches Theater Berlin , played on various stages in the city until 1933, gave guest appearances in Hamburg , Munich and Vienna, and even took part in a South American tour in 1930. Since 1916 he has appeared in 42 silent films .

After the handover of power to the National Socialists , Deutsch had to emigrate from Germany in April 1933 because of anti-Semitism and initially played again in Vienna and Prague. He made guest appearances in Zurich , Brussels and in 1936 in London . In 1938 he emigrated to New York , played briefly on Broadway and moved to Hollywood in 1939 , where he also received US citizenship . From 1942 he played under the pseudonym Ernest Dorian in some Hollywood films, mostly Nazis and officers.

After a guest performance in Buenos Aires in 1946 , Ernst Deutsch returned to Vienna via Paris and Switzerland in 1947 , where he became a member of the Burgtheater ensemble . At the Volkstheater he played in 1948 in "The Helper of God" Henri Dunant , the founder of the Red Cross . From 1951 he lived again in Berlin and played there at the Schiller and Schlossparktheater . In addition, he was often on tour tours at home and abroad.

His later work in films included that of Baron Kurtz in the classic film The Third Man by Carol Reed . As “Best Actor” he was awarded at the Venice Film Festival in 1948 for his performance in the film The Trial . He celebrated greatest theater successes as Nathan the Wise in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing 's classic of the same name and as Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice . He played Nathan for more than 10 years and in over 1000 performances and traveled throughout Europe with the production.

Since his portrayal of the title role in Walter Hasenclever's youth drama Der Sohn (1916, 1918 and 1923), German has been regarded as the expressionist actor par excellence.

Ernst Deutsch died in Berlin in 1969 at the age of 78. His grave is in the Jewish cemetery in Heerstrasse in Berlin-Westend .

The Ernst Deutsch Theater in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst


  • In 1962 he was awarded the title “ Chamber Actor” in Vienna and received the Kainz Medal .
  • In 1964 he received the gold film tape for many years of outstanding work in German film
  • In 1973, on the fourth anniversary of his death, Friedrich Schütter's then Junge Theater in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst was renamed Ernst Deutsch Theater . Shortly before his death, Ernst Deutsch, in his prime role as Nathan the Wise, made a formative and unforgettable impression on the audience in this small Hamburg private theater .



  • Josef Kainz and Ernst Deutsch. In: Julius Bab : Actors and acting. Oesterheld, Berlin 1926.
  • Georg Zivier : Ernst German and the German Theater. Five decades of German theater history. The life path of a great actor. Haude & Spener, Berlin 1964.
  • Kerstin Hagemeyer: Jewish life in Dresden. Exhibition on the occasion of the consecration of the new Dresden synagogue on November 9, 2001 (=  series of publications by the Saxon State Library - State and University Library . Volume 7 ). Saxon State Library - Dresden State and University Library, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-910005-27-6 .

Web links

Commons : Ernst Deutsch  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hagemeyer: Jewish life in Dresden. 2002, p. 197 (8.33 Ernst Deutsch in the title role of Walter Hasenclever's drama Der Sohn ).
  2. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 . P. 442.