Harald Paulsen

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Harald Paulsen
Harald Paulsen by Alexander Binder.jpg
Harald Johannes David Paulsen

(1895-08-26)26 August 1895
Died4 August 1954(1954-08-04) (aged 58)
Nationality German
Occupation(s)Actor, theatre director
Years active1913–1954

Harald Paulsen (26 August 1895 – 4 August 1954) was a German stage and film actor and director. He appeared in 125 films between 1920 and 1954.



Paulsen first appeared on stage at age sixteen. He then studied under Leopold Jessner, who was then senior director at Hamburg's Thalia Theater. [1] He made his debut at the Hamburg Stadttheater in 1913. From 1915 until 1917, he served in the German Army during World War I. in 1917–18 he played at the Fronttheater in Mitau. In 1919 he was brought to the Deutsches Theater in Berlin by Max Reinhardt. [2]

From his extensive theatrical work, his role as "Mackie Messer" ("Mack the Knife") in the world premiere of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera is particularly noteworthy. This performance took place on 31 August 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. At that time, Paulsen was considered a Brecht admirer. In 1938 Harald Paulsen became director of the Theater am Nollendorfplatz in Berlin, where mainly operettas were performed at that time. He also directed and performed in singing roles. He was forced to resign his position in 1945, following the End of World War II in Europe. [2] Paulsen also appeared as an actor in over twenty silent films. His acting career continued into the sound film era and he appeared in approximately ninety sound films. [3]

Shortly after Adolf Hitler seized power, he became a fervent National Socialist and carried the Flag of Nazi Germany for the student representatives at the May Day rally in Tempelhof. He also participated as an actor in several Nazi propaganda films, such as Ohm Krüger and the pro-euthanasia film Ich klage an , both released in 1941. [2] The Viennese actor Rolf Kutschera reported in his memoirs that Paulsen was notorious among his colleagues as an informant to Nazi authorities. [4]


Harald Paulsen died on 4 August 1954, aged 58, in the general hospital in the Hamburg borough of Altona after suffering from a stroke. He was buried in the Catholic cemetery in Elmshorn. His son Uwe Paulsen (1944–2014) was a stage and film actor, cabaret artist, and prolific voice actor, who dubbed foreign language film and television into German. [3] [5]

Selected filmography

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  1. "Harald Paulsen". Steffi-line (in German). 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 Klee, Paul (2011). Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945 (in German). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag. ISBN   978-9949477128.
  3. 1 2 "Harald Paulsen-Archiv". Die Akademie der Künste (in German). 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  4. Kutschera, Rolf (2010). Glück gehabt: Meine Erinnerungen (Deutsch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 30. September 2010 (in German). Graz: Styria Premium in Verlagsgruppe. ISBN   978-3222133114.
  5. "Uwe Paulsen". Synchronkartei (in German). 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2020.