10 Forgotten Movie Starlets Of Nazi Germany
After rising to power, Adolf Hitler assigned Joseph Goebbels as the Reich’s new “minister of propaganda.” Goebbels controlled the German public bycreating films that either numbed the population with comedy and musical numbers, or brainwashed people into believing in Nazi ideals.
Beginning in 1939, American films were banned from the country. Instead, there was now a huge demand for films produced by the Universum Film-Aktien Gesellschaft (UFA), the main studio controlled by the Nazi Party.
All these changes made things a bit tricky for German starlets. Actresses who refused to join the Nazi Party were blacklisted from the German film industry. Many other actresses fled the country, expanding their careers to other parts of Europe. Some even made it to Hollywood.
However, for a few women, the promise of money and fame was enough to set aside their moral judgments, and in some cases, they embraced the Nazis with open arms.
Lida Baarova was an established actress from Prague, and she signed a contract with the UFA for her first German film, Barcarole, in 1935. She was offered Hollywood roles, but she declined in order to stay in Germany. Lida was engaged to Gustav Frohlich, a famous actor who’d divorced his Jewish wife in order to continue his acting career. The couple fully embraced the Nazis to benefit their own careers.
Goebbels was absolutely obsessed with Lida Baarova. They began having an affair that lasted for two years, and obviously, this did wonders for Lida’s career. She was cast in all the choice roles, and she became very wealthy and successful.
Naturally, their relationship caused turmoil for both Gustav and Magda Goebbels, Joseph’s wife. Hitler himself eventually stepped in, deciding that in order to stop this domestic dispute, Lida Baarova would be deported back to Prague immediately.
While many actresses eagerly signed with the UFA, Brigitte Horney turned down the money and fame. She wanted to continue working with whichever actors and directors she wanted. Specifically, she wanted to keep working with her friend and former co-star, Joachim Gottschalk.
Gottschalk’s wife and children were Jewish, which caused him to be blacklisted from UFA films. In 1941, Gottschalk learned Gestapo agents were on their way to his house. They were planning on taking his family to the concentration camps. In order to avoid such a horrible fate, the Gottschalks committed group suicide so they could all die together.
Losing her friend shook Brigitte Horney, and it made the power of the Nazis all too real. Most likely fearing for her own life, she agreed to work on a propaganda film called Am Ende der Welt (The End of the World) in 1944. However, the movie wasn’t released until after World War II because Joseph Goebbels wasn’t satisfied with the film.
The fear soon became too much to handle, so Horney escaped to Switzerland, leaving her husband behind in Germany. After the war, she eventually became a US citizen and married Hanns Swarzenski, a Jewish art historian.
full story at :Listverse