Ernst Wendt (director, 1876)

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Ernst Eduard Amandus Wendt (born on October 26, 1876 in Danzig ; died on March 6, 1946 in Bad Wildungen ) was a German director , screenwriter and actor with theater and film.

Live and act

Education and early years at the theater

Wendt had attended the humanistic grammar school in his hometown of Gdansk at the end of the 19th century and then received artistic training from Ernst Arndt . In the 1890s, Ernst Wendt volunteered at the Danzig City Theater before he was hired as a youthful hero at the Kiel City Theater for the 1897/98 season . Then he went to the Rostock City Theater for a year and switched to the role of “First Hero”. This was followed by further one-year engagements in Hamburg and Graz . In the meantime, Wendt had married in 1902 and served for a year in Infantry Regiment No. 128. Further engagements as First Hero led Wendt to the Hamburger Schauspielhaus, the United Theaters of Breslau (1903–1906) and the Court Theaters of Darmstadt (1906–1908 ) and Dresden (1908–1911) and 1911/12 to the Schauspielhaus Leipzig. From 1912 to 1917 he was engaged at the Schauspielhaus Frankfurt , then at the Reinhardt Theaters in Berlin .

Film work

In the last year of the First World War , Wendt, now based in Berlin, was brought to film by Bruno Decarli , where he initially worked as an actor and at his side made his debut in front of the camera in the Henny Porten melodrama Das Maskenfest des Lebens . Just a year later, in 1919, Wendt was given the opportunity to work as a film director for the first time by Decarli and directed films such as Störtebeker, Uriel Acosta and Der Unheimliche , in which Decarli himself often played the leading role , for the actor's production company, Decarli-Film KG took over. Wendt also provided the script for some of these productions. Wendt's film career came to an end in 1925 after the first part of a comprehensive Bismarck portrait , which was praised only for the successful historical masks, but not for a directorial performance.

The late years

Then Wendt returned to the stage. He was initially seen (in the second half of the 1920s) as an ensemble member of small Berlin guest theater stages such as the Witcher Tourneetheater, before he accepted a call to the Small Theater in Kassel in the 1928/29 season . After two years, in 1930, Wendt was brought to the State Theater in Kassel as a director . In the north Hessian city, Ernst Wendt worked, also as an actor, throughout the 1930s and 1940s until the closure of all German theaters in the summer of 1944, as ordered by Propaganda Minister Goebbels . From 1933 to 1937 he held the position of the Kassel stage, which has since been renamed the Prussian State Theater a senior director of the play. In addition, Wendt held the position of regional director of the Reichstheaterkammer in the Gau Kurhessen during the Second World War .

Ernst Wendt was eight and a half months older, Emilie Wendt, nee Stark (1876–1946), married, whom he only survived by a month.




  • 1919: Störtebeker
  • 1920: Uriel Acosta
  • 1921: The Lord of the Beasts (also screenplay)
  • 1921: The Unheimliche (also screenplay)
  • 1921: The night of horror in the menagerie
  • 1921: The tigress
  • 1921: Among robbers and beasts
  • 1922: The revenge of the African woman
  • 1922: The White Desert (also screenplay)
  • 1925: Bismarck, 1st part


  • Kurt Mühsam / Egon Jacobsohn: Lexicon of the film . Verlag der Lichtbildbühne, Berlin 1926. p. 185 (there given first name incorrectly with “Erich”).
  • Wilhelm Kosch (Ed.): German Theater Lexicon . Volume VI. Weisbrod - Wolansky. De Gruyter, Berlin [et al.]. 2008. Page 3217. ISBN 978-3-908255-46-8 (accessed from De Gruyter Online).

Individual evidence

  1. according to information from the Kassel City Archives, based on the Bad Wildungen registry office, register no. 47/1946

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