Fritz Diez

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Fritz Diez (second from left) in the Berlin City Library, October 27, 1966.

Fritz Diez (born February 27, 1901 in Meiningen , † October 19, 1979 in Weimar ) was a German actor and director . He portrayed Adolf Hitler in several feature films .


Fritz Diez left elementary school after eighth grade and wanted to become an engineer. First he did an electrician apprenticeship in the gas works, then he worked as an electrician, house installer and blacksmith. The theater lover wanted more than just watching, so he once sneaked into the extras in self-made costume . In 1919 he slipped into the dreamed-up profession through some “official” extras . In order to gain a foothold in it, he took acting lessons at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst in Meiningen and made his debut there in 1920 as a drama student and finally in 1922 as a member of the ensemble on stage. In the following 13 years he played on stages in Eisenach , Hanau , Flensburg , Bremerhaven , Würzburg , Baden-Baden and Eger . The observation of a beating attack by two Reichswehr soldiers against a defenseless person made him think about the political situation for the first time in Eisenach in 1924. In 1928 he sympathized with the KPD , and in 1932 he joined the party. This was his undoing on March 6, 1933, because due to the new balance of power in the country, he lost his job from one day to the next. In the following years he experienced a gauntlet with denunciations , arrests and interrogations. In 1935 he emigrated to Switzerland , where he played at the theater in St. Gallen and was politically active, which was actually forbidden under threat of expulsion .

In 1946 he returned to Meiningen, where he was committed to the constitution of the Kulturbund of the GDR , took over positions in it and worked as an actor, director and senior director , from 1947 to 1954 also as a theater director at the Meininger Theater . Here he did a considerable amount of building work, which culminated in the gathering of workers and scrapping of funds for a revolving stage . He was then appointed general director of the State Theater in Halle . His health had to pay tribute to the continued high workload and consequently he had to give up this function himself. Since 1958 he has been an actor and director in Dresden , at the Deutsches Theater Berlin and at the Volksbühne Berlin . In addition, he gave many guest appearances at other theaters.

In 1952 he made his DEFA debut with a leading role in the film Shadows over the Islands . He worked primarily in propaganda films for cinema and television and quickly established himself as an outstanding character actor . He became internationally known in his prime role: In several DEFA films, but also in foreign and television productions, a total of around ten times, Diez embodied Adolf Hitler so memorably that subsequent actors have to be measured by this performance.

He was married to the actress Martha Beschort-Diez , whom he had met in Eisenach. Both spent their twilight years in the Weimar Marie-Seebach-Stift, a retirement home for stage artists. But the home by no means meant tranquility through job abandonment; Fritz Diez was still available for guest roles, most recently as a butler in Dürrenmatt's The Visit of the Old Lady , and for discussions with everyone who invited him. Shortly before his death, on October 7, 1979, he was made an honorary citizen of the city of Meiningen .

Filmography (selection)




Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l Ingrid Eberhardt: Children of the district - this time actor Fritz Diez or: The total and irrevocable commitment to the theater . Free Word (FW supplement No. 20) , June 15, 1979.
  2. a b c d e f Wa .; We introduce: Intendant Fritz Dietz [sic]. Central German Latest News , September 9, 1954.
  3. a b c Anonymus: People of our time: Intendant Fritz Diez - Landestheater Halle . Freedom , September 10, 1954.
  4. a b c d e f g h i j Georg-Michael Wagner: Wilhelm Tell, Peer Gynt and Fucik. The actor Fritz Diez celebrated his 70th birthday . Neue Zeit , February 28, 1971.
  5. a b c d e f Werner Voigt: Basic sentences of my life have come true. Talking to the actor Comrade Fritz Diez on a current occasion . The people , March 17, 1979.
  6. a b Gabriele Brandenburger: Meiningen's time as a director shaped his life, but: His main role was always the new beginning. Dedicated contemporary, artist and communist: Fritz Diez . Thüringische Landeszeitung (weekend supplement of the Thüringische Landeszeitung) , February 27, 1976.
  7. a b c Peter-J. Fischer: Mosfilm congratulated ahead of time. On February 27th, Fritz Diez celebrated his 75th birthday / a TNN conversation . Thuringian Latest News , February 28, 1976.
  8. a b c d e H. Müncheberg: Fritz Diez. Again on the screen in Günter Görlich's television play The Lost Year . FF there , May 21-27, 1967.
  9. Tina Precht: Theater with a scarf and hat. Hours from 25 years - Fritz Diez . Free word (FW supplement no. 20) , [o. D.] 1974.
  10. Anonymous: Intendant Fritz Diez leaves Meiningen . Free Word , July 7, 1954.
  11. Werner Voigt: He drew from the abundance of life for his art. On the death of the actor Fritz Diez . The people , October 24, 1979.
  12. Meiningen pays tribute to Diez ( Memento of the original from July 19, 2011 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. (PDF; 329 kB)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /