Wegener, Paul

ACTOR, DIRECTOR (GERMANY)
BORN 11 Dec 1874, Arnoldsdorf, Westpreussen (now: Jarantowice) - DIED 13 Sep 1948, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Friedhof Heerstrasse, Trahkener Allee 1, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf (Feld 4-B (Waldsonderstelle) (Ehrengrab))

Paul Wegener was the son of a cloth manufacturer from East Prussia. He studied law, but when he was twenty he abandoned his studies to become an actor. He toured in the country before he joined Max Reinhardt's ensemble in 1906. Between 1906 and 1920 he played many important theatre parts in Berlin. In 1913 he was in the movie "Der Student von Prag". He served in Flanders in the first World War and was decorated after he was wounded in 1914. In 1914 he appeared in "The Golem", of which he was the co-director. This movie made him famous. A successor, "Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam" (1920), was also a succes in the USA.

In 1922 he was in the historical movie "Monna Vanna". He divorced his third wife Lyda Salmonova in 1924 and married Greta Schröder in that same year. He had a son by Lyda, Peter Wegener (1917-2008). During his life he would marry six times. In 1926 he appeared for once in a Hollywood movie, "The Magician" and in "Alraune" (1928) he starred next to Brigitte Helm. In 1929 he performed in theatre productions in South America with Greta Schröder.

His first sound movie was "Unheimliche Geschichten" (1932). After the nazis came to power he continued his career and worked under Heinrich Georg at the Schillertheater and under Gustaf Gründgens at the Staatlichen Bühnen Berlins. But he reputedly gave money to resistance groups and he sheltered endangered people in his house. When the war ended he sheltered a dozen women against Russian soldiers.

Allthough he appeared in the propaganda movie "Kolberg" in 1945, the Russians allowed him to continue his career after the war. On 7 September 1945 he opened the Deutsche Theater with a performance of Lessings "Nathan der Weisse", playing Nathan himself. After he suffered a stroke he was unable to work and he died in 1948 in Berlin. At the time of his death he was married to Lyda Salmonova for the second time.

Related persons
• influenced Hasenclever, Walter

Events
6/12/1906Premiere of Shaw's "Mensch und Übermensch" at Der Komödie in Berlin. It was directed by Rudolf Bernauer. The actors were Lucie Höflich, Paul Wegener, Victor Arnold, Paul Biensfeldt, Tilla Durieux, Alexander Ekert, Bernhard von Jacobi, Emilie Kurz, Jacob Tiedtke and Hedwig Wangel. The play was cancelled after ten performances. [Durieux, Tilla][Höflich, Lucie]
20/12/1906Premiere of Hermann Bahr's "Ringelspiel" at the Deutschen Theater, Berlin. It was directed by Bahr. The actors were Lucie Höflich, Alexander Moissi, Agnes Sorma, Albert Steinrück, Hans Wassermann and Paul Wegener. The stage scenery was created by Emil Orlik. [Bahr, Hermann][Höflich, Lucie][Sorma, Agnes][Steinrück, Albert]
28/3/1929Performance of Frank Wedekind's "Der Marquis von Keith" in honour of the recently deceased Albert Steinrück. It took place at the Schauspielhaus at the Gendarmemarkt in Belrin. Director was Leopold Jessner and Heinrich Mann speeched. Among the participating actors were Heinrich George, Werner Krauss, Carola Neher, Tilla Durieux, Jakob Tiedtke, Conrad Veidt, Max Pallenberg, Elisabeth Bergner, Paul Wegener, Hans Albers, Käthe Dorsch and Veit Harlan. [Albers, Hans][Bergner, Elisabeth][Brausewetter, Hans][Dietrich, Marlene][Durieux, Tilla][George, Heinrich][Goetz, Curt][Körber, Hilde][Kortner, Fritz][Krauss, Werner][Mann, Heinrich][Pallenberg, Max][Steinrück, Albert][Veidt, Conrad][Wedekind, Frank][Wedekind, Tilly]

Images

The grave of Paul Wegener at Friedhof Heerstrasse, Berlin.
Picture by androom (25 Aug 2006)

 

Sources
Albert Steinrück: Abschiedsvorstellung am Gendarmenmarkt
Paul Wegener - Wikipedia
Paul Wegener - IMDb


Weigel-Brecht, Helene

Published: 23 Dec 2018
Last update: 23 Dec 2018