Dora Gerson

Last updated
Dora Gerson
DoraGerson.jpg
Dora Gerson in circa 1922 publicity photograph
Born
Dorothea Gerson

(1899-03-23)23 March 1899
Died14 February 1943(1943-02-14) (aged 43)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1920s
Spouse(s)
Veit Harlan
(m. 1922;div. 1924)

Max Sluizer(m. 1936)
Children2

Dora Gerson (born Dorothea Gerson, 23 March 1899 – 14 February 1943) was a German cabaret singer and stage and motion picture actress of the silent film era who died with her family at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Contents

Life and career

Born Dorothea Gerson into a Jewish family in Berlin, Gerson began her career as a touring singer and actress in the Holtorf Tournee Truppe alongside actor Mathias Wieman in Germany where she met and married her first husband, film director Veit Harlan. The couple married in 1922 and divorced in 1924. Harlan would later direct the anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda film Jud Süß (1940), supposedly at the insistence of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

In 1920, Gerson was cast to appear in the film Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses (On the Brink of Paradise), an adaptation of the Karl May-penned novel Von Bagdad nach Stambul, and later followed that same year in another May adaptation titled Die Todeskarawane (Caravan of Death). Both films included Hungarian actor Béla Lugosi in the cast and are now believed to be lost films. Gerson continued to perform as a popular cabaret singer throughout the 1920s as well as acting in films.

By 1933, when the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, the German-Jewish population was systematically stripped of rights and Gerson's career slowed dramatically. Blacklisted from performing in "Aryan" films, Gerson began recording music for a small Jewish record company. She also began recording in the Yiddish language during this time and the 1936 song "Der Rebe Hot Geheysn Freylekh Zayn" became highly regarded by the Jews of Europe in the 1930s. Gerson's most memorable recordings from this era were the German-language songs "Backbord und Steuerbord" and "Vorbei" (Beyond Recall), which was an emotional ballad, memorializing pre-Nazi Germany:

Death

In 1936, Gerson relocated with relatives to the Netherlands, fleeing Nazi persecution. She had married a second time to Max Sluizer (b. 24 June 1906). On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands and the Jews there were subject to the same anti-Semitic laws and restrictions as in Germany. After several years of living under oppressive Nazi occupation, the Gerson family began to plan to escape. In 1942, Gerson and her family were seized trying to flee to Switzerland, a neutral nation in World War II Europe. The family were sent by railroad car to Drancy internment camp [1] bound for the Nazi camp of Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland. Dora, along with her husband and their two children, Miriam Sluizer (b. 19 November 1937) and Abel Juda Sluizer (b. 21 May 1940), died at Auschwitz on 14 February 1943. [2] [3]

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1920 On the Brink of Paradise Dschana Ardschir Mirza
1920 Caravan of Death (final film role)

Related Research Articles

Auschwitz concentration camp German network of concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland during World War II

The Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust. It consisted of Auschwitz I, the main camp (Stammlager) in Oświęcim; Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a concentration and extermination camp built with several gas chambers; Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a labor camp created to staff a factory for the chemical conglomerate IG Farben; and dozens of subcamps. The camps became a major site of the Nazis' Final Solution to the Jewish Question.

Westerbork transit camp a transit camp

Camp Westerbork was a transit camp in Drenthe province, northeastern Netherlands, during World War II. Established by the Dutch government in the summer of 1939, Camp Westerbork was meant to serve as a refugee camp for Jews who had illegally entered the Netherlands.

Veit Harlan German film director (1899-1964)

Veit Harlan was a German film director and actor. Harlan reached the highpoint of his career as a director under the Nazi era, especially his antisemitic film Jud Süß (1940) makes him controversial. While viewed critically for his ideologies, a number of critics consider him a capable director, on the grounds of such work as his Opfergang (1944).

Auschwitz Album unique photographic record of the Holocaust of the Second World War

The Auschwitz Album is a photographic record of the Holocaust during the Second World War. It and the Sonderkommando photographs are the only known pictorial evidence of the extermination process inside Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the German extermination camp in occupied Poland.

Hans Frankenthal was a German Jew who was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland in 1943. Having survived the Holocaust along with his brother Emil, Frankenthal returned to his home in Germany where he experienced the common disbelief and denial of Nazi war crimes.

Eduard Wirths SS physician

Eduard Wirths was the Chief SS doctor (SS-Standortarzt) at the Auschwitz concentration camp from September 1942 to January 1945. Thus, Wirths had formal responsibility for everything undertaken by the nearly 20 SS doctors who worked in the medical sections of Auschwitz between 1942–1945.

Jewish resistance in German-occupied Europe Various forms of resistance conducted by Jews against Nazi occupation regimes

Jewish resistance under the Nazi rule took various forms of organized underground activities conducted against German occupation regimes in Europe by Jews during World War II. According to historian Yehuda Bauer, Jewish resistance was defined as actions that were taken against all laws and actions acted by Germans. The term is particularly connected with the Holocaust and includes a multitude of different social responses by those oppressed, as well as both passive and armed resistance conducted by Jews themselves.

Fania Fénelon was a French pianist, composer and cabaret singer, whose survival of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz and the Holocaust was made into a television film, Playing For Time.

The Holocaust Genocide of the European Jews by Nazi Germany and other groups

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the World War II genocide of the European Jews. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. The murders were carried out in pogroms and mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through work in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland.

Aftermath of the Holocaust

The Holocaust had a deep effect on society both in Europe and the rest of the world, and today its consequences are still being felt both by children and adults whose ancestors were victims of this genocide.

Max Wallace Canadian journalist

Max Wallace is a Canadian journalist and historian specializing in the Holocaust, human rights in sport, and popular culture. He is also an award-winning filmmaker, and long-time human rights activist.

<i>Jud Süß</i> (1940 film) 1940 film

Jud Süß is a 1940 Nazi German propaganda film produced by Terra Film at the behest of Joseph Goebbels, and considered one of the most antisemitic films of all time. The film was directed by Veit Harlan, who wrote the screenplay with Eberhard Wolfgang Möller and Ludwig Metzger. The leading roles were played by Ferdinand Marian and Harlan's wife Kristina Söderbaum; Werner Krauss and Heinrich George played key supporting roles.

<i>Jud Süß</i> (Feuchtwanger novel) novel by Lion Feuchtwanger

Jud Süß is a 1925 historical novel by Lion Feuchtwanger based on the life of Joseph Süß Oppenheimer.

Będzin Ghetto Nazi ghetto in occupied Poland

The Będzin Ghetto was a World War II ghetto set up by Nazi Germany for the Polish Jews in the town of Będzin in occupied south-western Poland. The formation of the 'Jewish Quarter' was pronounced by the German authorities in July 1940. Over 20,000 local Jews from Będzin, along with additional 10,000 Jews expelled from neighbouring communities, were forced to subsist there until the end of the Ghetto history during the Holocaust. Most of the able-bodied poor were forced to work in German military factories before being transported aboard Holocaust trains to the nearby concentration camp at Auschwitz where they were exterminated. The last major deportation of the ghetto inmates by the German SS – men, women and children – between 1 and 3 August 1943 was marked by the ghetto uprising by members of the Jewish Combat Organization.

The Holocaust in Belgium

The Holocaust in German-occupied Belgium refers to the persecution and attempted extermination of Jews and Roma between 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

The Holocaust in Italy

The Holocaust in Italy was the persecution, deportation, and murder of Jews between 1943 and 1945 in the Italian Social Republic, the part of the Kingdom of Italy occupied by Nazi Germany after the Italian surrender on September 8, 1943, during World War II.

André Rogerie French WW2 General

André Rogerie was a member of the French Resistance in World War II and survivor of seven Nazi concentration camps who testified after the war about what he had seen in the camps.

Timeline of antisemitism in the 20th century

This timeline of antisemitism chronicles the facts of antisemitism, hostile actions or discrimination against Jews as a religious or ethnic group, in the 20th century. It includes events in the history of antisemitic thought, actions taken to combat or relieve the effects of antisemitism, and events that affected the prevalence of antisemitism in later years. The history of antisemitism can be traced from ancient times to the present day.

References

  1. Yad Vashem
  2. Joods Monument - Dorothea Sluizer-Gerson
  3. Schönfeld, Christiane; Finnan, Carmel (2006). Practicing Modernity: Female Creativity in the Weimar Republic. Königshausen & Neumann. p. 209. ISBN   978-3-8260-3241-7.