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Gustav von Wangenheim

Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)

1895 - 1975

The actor Gustav von Wangenheim was born as the son of the legendary actor Eduard von Winterstein and the actress Minna Mengers.
After the suicide of his mother in 1899 his father Eduard von Winterstein got married again, this time with the actress Hedwig Pauly.
Growing up in the environment it was foreseeable that Gustav von Wangenheim would start an artistic career as well. Therefore he joined the acting school of Max Reinhardt.
Afterwards he got first engagements at theaters in Vienna, Berlin and other cities.

He already made his film debut in 1914 with "Passionels Tagebuch" and in the next years followed well-known productions like "Der Letzte eines alten Geschlechts" (16), "Homunculus" (16), "Ferdinand Lassalle" (18) and "Der Tempel der Liebe" (19).

He took part again in numerous silent movies of the 20s, among them "Kohlhiesels Töchter" (20) with Henny Porten playing a double role, "Romeo und Julia i Schnee" (20), "Das Haus zum Mond" (21), as Hutter in "Nosferatu" (22) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, "Der steinerne Reiter" (29) und Fritz Lang's "Frau im Mond" (29).

In 1917 he wrote the play "Der Mann Fjodor" and finally he came in touch with the politic and he joined the USPD. Moreover he also founded the Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland (NFKD).

He also founded the "Truppe 1931" in 1928 and manage it till 1933. They went on tour through Germany and Switzerland.

His last movie came in 1931 into being with "Danto" (31), two years later he left Germany because he was against the National Socialism. As a member of the Communist party he reached the Sovjet Union via Paris where he remained active as an artist. Among others he realised the movie "Bortsy" (36) as a director and screenwriter.  

His film work "Kämpfer" however ended tragically. Stalin let the movie forbid and many participants were arrested and partly executed.
Gustav von Wangeheim was able to continue his career and he wrote among others "Die Friedensstörer". He even got the citizenship of the Sovjet Union in 1940. When the Sovjet Union entered World War II in 1940 he served for the 7th Political Division where he also realised flyers.

After the end of war he returned to Germany in 1945. But during his stay in the Sovjet Union remained few dark chapters. He's said to have denunciated the actress Carola Neher and her husband Anatol Becker as Trotskyites in 1936. Anatol Becker was executed the next years and Carola Neher was sentenced to prison for 10 years but only survived 5 years.

Gustav von Wangenheim was able to continue his artistic career in Germany and he took over the management of the Deutsches Theater Berlin for a brief time. Together with others he spoke for the arrested Gustaf Gründgens. Finally he was released from prison and he was able to continue his stage career as well.

Gustav von Wangeheim realised few movies as a director after World War II for the DEFA. To these works belong "Und wieder 48" (48), "Der Auftrag Höglers" (50), "Gefährliche Fracht" (54) and "Heimliche Ehen" (56).

Gustav von Wangenheim was married with the actress Inge von Wangenheim. His son was the actor Friedel von Wangenheim.

Other movies with Gustav von Wangenheim (Actor):
Das Leid der Liebe (16) Die Erzkokette (17) Kitsch (19) Der Schrecken im Hause Ardon (20) Das Feuerschiff (22) Der Liebe Pilgerfahrt (23) Schatten (23)

Und wieder 48 (48) Der Auftrag Höglers (50) Heimliche Ehen (56)