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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 11 May 1897Berlin, Germany
Date of Death 28 October 1944Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, Oswiecim, Malopolskie, Poland  (murdered in gas chamber)
Birth NameKurt Gerson
Nickname ButhaBubba

Mini Bio (2)

Gerron fled to France (because he was jewish), then settled in Amsterdam in 1933. He was arrested by the SS in 1943 and was sent to Theresienstadt in 1944 to direct a staged documentary intended to persuade world public opinion that Jews were well treated in concentration camps. He made a film called "The Fuhrer Donates a City to the Jews" or in German "Der Fuhrer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt". After he completed the film he was sent to Auschwitz where he was murdered.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <jf5110a@American.edu>

Kurt Gerron born in 1897 to Jewish parents in Germany, studied at first medicine, before he decided to become a stage actor in 1920. He came to the movies in 1926. On stage he starred in the original version of Bert Brecht's and Kurt Weill's "Dreigroschen Oper" as Tiger Brown, introducing the "Haifisch" song. In 1930, he became director at a Berlin theater, where he directed "Der Rote Faden" with Gustav Gruendgens, Grete Weiser and Marlene Dietrich. He also participated in the very successful movies "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" and "Der Blaue Engel". The UFA also wanted him to work as a director and offered him the opportunity to direct a few short movies before directing his first of five feature films for this company. In 1933, he was forced by the Nazis to leave the UFA while working on the movie "Kind, ich freu mich auf dein Kommen (1933)" He left Germany, and after a few stops in in different European countries, he got a job in Holland as a director, where he worked with success. After the German invasion and occupation of the Netherlands in 1940, he appeared in the infamous propaganda movie "Der Ewige Jude" (1940). In 1943 he was sent to a concentration camp in Holland, where he organized and operated a small stage. In February 1944, he was sent to the concentration camp Theresienstadt, where he was forced to direct the propaganda-pseudo-documentary "Der Fuehrer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (1944)" with the hope, he could help some of the prisoners there to stay in Theresienstadt and thus avoid being deported further East. However, he and his wife were deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered in the gas chambers on 28 October 1944.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Spouse (1)

Olga (? - 28 October 1944) (his death)

Trivia (5)

Was instrumental in giving Lzuise Rainer her starring role in the musical "Heut Kommt's Draut An" ("Friday Is the Day") in 1932.
In 1944, Gerron was coerced into directing a Nazi propaganda film intended to be viewed in "neutral" nations (in Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland, for example) showing how "humane" conditions were at Theresienstadt. Once filming was finished, Gerron and members of the Jazz pianist Martin Roman's Ghetto Swingers were deported on the camp's final train transport to Auschwitz. Gerron and his wife were gassed immediately upon arrival, along with the film's entire performing entourage (except for Roman and guitarist Coco Schumann).The next day, Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the closure of the gas chambers.
Gerron is the subject of three documentary films, Prisoner of Paradise (PBS), Kurt Gerrons Karussell, and Tracks to Terezín, which features Holocaust survivor Herbert Thomas Mandl talking about Kurt Gerron as the director of the film Theresienstadt. Ein Dokumentarfilm aus dem jüdischen Siedlungsgebiet. The narrator in Kurt Gerrons Karussell, which stars Ute Lemper, is Roy Kift, who has also written a play on Gerron's time in Theresienstadt entitled Camp Comedy. The play is published in The Theatre of the Holocaust, edited by Professor Robert Skloot and published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Several times he was offered employment in Hollywood through the agency of Peter Lorre and Josef von Sternberg, but refused to leave Europe.
All known complete prints of Gerron's final film, which was to have been called Theresienstadt. Ein Dokumentarfilm aus dem jüdischen Siedlungsgebiet (Terezin: A Documentary Film of the Jewish Resettlement), and which is also referred to as Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (The Führer Gives the Jews a City), were destroyed in 1945. Twenty minutes of footage were discovered in Czechoslovakia in the mid-1960s, and today the film exists only in fragmentary form.

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