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Veit Harlan (22 September 1899, Berlinmarker – 13 April 1964, Capri, Italymarker) was a German film director and actor.


After studying under Max Reinhardt, he first appeared on the stage in 1915 and, after World War I, worked in the Berlin stage. In 1922 he married Jewish actress and cabaret singer Dora Gerson; the couple divorced in 1924. Gerson later died at Auschwitzmarker with her family. In 1929, he married Hilde Koerber, having three children with her before divorcing her for political reasons related to the influence of National Socialism. Afterwards, he married the actress Kristina Soederbaum, for whom he wrote several tragic roles, further increasing her popularity.

During the 1930s, Harlan made several anti-Semitic films. In 1937 Joseph Goebbels appointed Harlan as one of his leading propaganda directors. His most notorious film is Jud Süß, which was made for anti-Semitic propaganda purposes in Germany and Austria. In 1943 it received UFA's highest awards. Karsten Witte, the film critic, provided a fitting appellation for Harlan calling him the "the baroque fascist". Harlan made the Reich's loudest, most colorful and expensive films.

At the end of the war Harlan was charged with participating in the anti-Semitic movement and aiding the Nazis. He successfully argued against the charges on the grounds that higher-ups had deliberately interfered with his art and was acquitted.

In 1951, Harlan sued Hamburgmarker politician Erich Lüth for publicly calling for a boycott of one of Harlan's post-World War II films. Harlan was granted an injunction against Lüth in the lower courts which was then lifted by the Federal Constitutional Courtmarker for violating Lüth's freedom of expression. It was a landmark decision because it clarified the importance of the constitutional civil rights in disputes between individuals.

Veit Harlan made a few more films after the war, dying while on vacation in Caprimarker.

In 1958, Veit Harlan's niece, Christiane Susanne Harlan, married filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who was Jewish. She is credited by her stage name "Susanne Christian" in Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957), during the filming of which she met the famous director. They remained married until Stanley Kubrick's death in 1999.


  • Krach im Hinterhaus (1934)
  • Kreutzersonate (1937)
  • Der Herrscher (1937)
  • Jugend (1938)
  • Verwehte Spuren (1938)
  • Das unsterbliche Herz (1939)
  • Die Reise nach Tilsit (1939)
  • Jud Süß (1940)
  • Der große König (1941)
  • Die goldene Stadt (1942)
  • Immensee (1943)
  • Opfergang (1944)
  • Kolberg (1944/1945)
  • Unsterbliche Geliebte (1950)
  • Die blaue Stunde (1952)
  • Sterne über Colombo (1953)
  • Verrat an Deutschland (Der Fall Dr. Sorge) (1954)
  • Anders als du und ich aka Das dritte Geschlecht (1957)

See also


  1. Eric Rentschler "The Ministry of Illusion", p. 167.

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