Louis Brody

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Louis Brody (actually Ludwig M'bebe Mpessa , also Lewis Brody ; born July 25, 1896 in Douala , German colony of Cameroon , † February 11, 1951 in Berlin ) was a German actor.


At the age of 15, Louis Brody came to the German Empire from what was then the German “protected area” of Cameroon . He made his first appearance at the age of 23, directed by Joe May in his Joe Deebs detective series in the episode The Law of the Mine . May also engaged him in several parts of the successful, exotic adventure film series The Mistress of the World .

The transition from the Weimar Republic to the time of National Socialism surprisingly did not result in a break in his career, on the contrary. The National Socialists needed black actors for their colonial films, so that Brody, although otherwise disadvantaged in Germany, earned 100 Reichsmarks per day of shooting. This corresponded to about half the monthly wage of a top earner.

In 1938 Brody married Erika Johanna Emilie Dick from Gdańsk, with whom he had a daughter.

In the 1940 anti-Semitic film Jud Süß he played the Duke's black servant under Veit Harlan .

He experienced the end of National Socialism in Berlin. Then he went to DEFA , his last film appearance he had in the film drama The Last Heuer .

Louis Brody died on February 11, 1951 in Berlin and was buried in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen.



  • Tobias Nagl: From Cameroon to Babelsberg. Louis Brody and the black presence in German-language cinema before 1945. In: Ulrich van der Heyden , Joachim Zeller (Ed.): Colonial metropolis Berlin. A search for clues. Berlin-Edition, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-8148-0092-3 , pp. 220-225.
  • Tobias Nagl: The creepy machine. Race and Representation in Weimar Cinema. edition text + kritik, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-88377-910-2 (at the same time: Hamburg, University, dissertation, 2005), (especially Chapter 6.3: Pages in the dream factory: Louis Brody and the invisible men of the Weimar cinema. Pp. 557-592).
  • Tobias Nagl: "Otherwise we would have gone the same way as many others". Afro-German extras, testimonies and the archive of German film history. In: Claudia Bruns, Asal Dardan, Anette Diedrich (eds.): “Which of the stones you lift”. Cinematic memory of the Holocaust (= media - culture. Vol. 3). Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86505-397-8 , pp. 156-169.

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