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Kurt Gerron


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Kurt Gerron (May 11, 1897 – November 15, 1944) was a German Jewish actor and film director.
Born Kurt Gerson to Jewish parents in Berlin, Germany, Gerron initially studied medicine but became a stage actor in 1920. He appeared in such films as The Blue Angel opposite Marlene Dietrich, and on stage originated the role of Brown (the chief of police in London) in the premiere production of Die Dreigroschenoper in Berlin in 1928.

Gerron was offered a trip to Hollywood but refused and stayed behind in Europe. He later left Germany, traveling first to France and later to the Netherlands. There, he kept on working as an actor and director in several movies. After the German army occupied the Netherlands, he was interned in the transit camp at Westerbork before being sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp. There he ran a cabaret called The Karussell to entertain the inmates.
In 1944, Gerron was either persuaded or coerced by the Nazis to make a propaganda film showing how humane the conditions were at Theresienstadt. After shooting finished, Gerron was deported on the camp’s final transport to Auschwitz. He was murdered immediately upon arrival. Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler did not order the gas chambers shut down until the next day.Gerron’s film, supposed to have been titled either Theresienstadt.

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