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For International Workers' Day, the DEFA Foundation presents two classics from the DEFA studio for features about German Communist Party Chairman Ernst Thälmann, who was stylized as a hero after being murdered in 1944 in Buchenwald concentration camp. This monumental epic by director Kurt Maetzig, with a brilliant Günther Simon in the leading role, was shot from a script by Willi Bredel and Michael Tschesno-Hell. ERNST THÄLMANN – SOHN SEINER KLASSE (East Germany 1954) shows the workers’ leader at the 1918 November revolution and ends at the Hamburg uprising in October 1923. The sequel ERNST THÄLMANN – FÜHRER SEINER KLASSE (East Germany 1955) begins in 1930 and shows Thälmann’s struggle to create a united front for German workers against the National Socialists, his arrest after Hitler seized power, and the 11 years he spent in prison. Both Thälmann films, which were created under the strict supervision of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, were an essential program for millions of East Germany citizens. (jh) (1.5.)

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur