Paul Wegener

 

Paul Wegener (1874-1948) born in Bischdorf, Germany, began his acting career in Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Over the subsequent decades, he became a towering figure in German drama. Entering films in 1913, he soon began working as both an actor and director. He was married five times; one of his wives being actress Lyda Salmonova who had a leading role in The Golem (Rabbi Loew's daughter). They appeared together in many films.

However, a more dubious recognition for the actor came about during the Nazi regime where he produced propaganda films. He was named an Actor of the State by the Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. Wegener himself appeared in Nazi feature films up until 1945 - quite a turnabout from the homage he paid to a Jewish legend with The Golem. Wegener can also be seen in a few available silent films, including Passion (a.k.a. Madame DuBarry) (UFA, 1919), One Arabian Night (UFA, 1920), and Student of Prague (H.R. Sokal-Film, 1926), The Magician (M-G-M, 1926) and Mandrake (Ama-Film, 1928).