Geschonnek, Erwin

BORN 27 Dec 1906, Bartenstein, Ost-Preussen (now: Bartoszyce, Poland) - DIED 13 Mar 2008, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Chausseestrasse (CU3-3-1 Nr. 701)

Erwin Geschonnek moved with his family to the Ackerstrasse in Berlin during his youth. In 1919 he joined the German communist party KPD. In 1932 he made his first movie appearance as an extra in "Kuhle Wampe".

After the nazis came to power he emigrated to the Soviet Union. But the Russians expelled him to Prague in 1938 and there he was arrested by the nazis. He was imprisoned in three different concentration camps (Sachsenhausen. Dachau and Neuengamme) and in 1945 he was among the few survivors of the bombing of the ship Cap Arcona by the RAF.

After the war he joined Bertolt Brecht's Berliner Ensemble and his acting career took finally off. He had parts in many DEFA movies, among them "Jakob der Lügner" (1974) that was nominated for an Oscar.

During the 1950s he was married to the actress Hannelore Wüst and they had a son, Matti Geschonneck. From his marriage to television presentor Doris Weikow he had a daughter, the journalist Fina Geschonneck. In 1971 he married his fourth and last wife Heiki with whom he had a son in 1970, Alexander. With her he lived at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin. She was almost forty years his junior and survived him when he died in 2008. Erwin Geschonnek was buried close to Brecht at the Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof in Berlin.

Related persons
• cooperated with Brecht, Bertolt


The grave of Erwin Geschonnek at the Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (16 Aug 2010)


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Gessner, Adrienne

Published: 05 Jun 2011
Last update: 02 Mar 2022