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255 20 In the Ruins of the Reich Harlan’s later depiction of the war’s end is unusual, to put it mildly: “And then came the day when the Englishmen occupied Hamburg. Hitler was dead, Goebbels was dead. The first among the great artists to be excessively andunjustlyinsultedandattackedwasGerhartHauptmann.”1 “Englishmen occupied Hamburg” suggests an invasion from Mars. As for Gerhart Hauptmann, contrary to Harlan’s description, he died a free man, from natural causes, although he was for some time harassed by Polish authorities and then protected by Soviet ones. To declare Hauptmann the first and chief victim of the Allied victors’ justice is an insult to several million victims of hunger, cold, rape, and expulsion; no Hauptmann scholar has ever shared Harlan’s view. It seems the director projected his own self-pity onto the old poet. How Harlan and his wife spent the first year of peace remains unclear; neither his autobiography nor hers provides evidence. Harlan was often arbitrarily arrested but usually could go home after a few days. In late 1945, Helmut Käutner initiated the Interessengemeinschaft der Filmhersteller , an organization for filmmakers living in Hamburg, and they included Harlan and his wife. Their address at this time was Hamburg 39, Sierichstrasse 154. Shortly thereafter they moved to Scheffelstrasse 14. It seems that Käutner, soon to become an adversary, did not mind Harlan’s presence on the list. Nevertheless, Harlan guessed that there would be some retribution. Former friends avoided him. Kurt Meisel, who owed his belated breakthrough as a film actor to Die goldene Stadt, suddenly used the formal Sie instead of the informal Du in addressing Harlan. Critic-turned-novelist Erich Kästner, who on the occasion of Mord im Hinterhaus had called Harlan one of Germany’s most talented young actors, demanded his blacklisting in a November 30 article for Neue Zeitung.2 More troubling than the loss of friends were sudden, violent attacks on the street and anonymous veit harlan 256 phone calls. Harlan might have gone to Sweden because Kristina was in friendly contact with the German-born Queen Sibylla. Both women gave birth to a child within two months of each other: on February 5, 1946, Caspar Veit Harlan was born, and on April 30 the future king Carl Gustav followed.TheHarlansdecidedtostayinHamburg,though.InJune,Kristina’s sister Ulla went there to entertain British troops; and in August, Kristina was reunited with her son Kristian, having been separated from him for more than eighteen months. He had suffered badly in the meantime, not understanding why people insulted him, calling him a criminal’s son. Among the first famous émigrés to return to Germany were producer Erich Pommer and actress Marlene Dietrich. They could and in many cases did help former colleagues, which led to a certain paranoia among less-connected artists eager to start working again. Emil Jannings believed, with justification as it turned out, that Pommer actively opposed his comeback , but such equally (and in terms of anti-Semitism, much more) compromised actors as Werner Krauss and Paula Wessely were soon able to restart their careers, so the former UFA producer Pommer cannot have been that powerful. Someone who was unpopular with U.S. authorities could still work in the Soviet zone and vice versa. German artists eager to work again were treated like pawns in a chess game and often used this treatment to their own advantage. Here, for once, the Soviets were more pragmatic, whereas cultural life in the U.S. zone suffered from bureaucratic obstacles. The first postwar films were released in the Soviet zone in 1946: Wolfgang Staudte’s Die Mörder sind unter uns (Murderers among us); Milo Harbich’s Freies Land (Free soil) in October 1946, the latter a piece of agricultural-reform propaganda and a resounding flop; as well as Gerhard Lamprecht’s Irgendwo in Berlin (Somewhere in Berlin), which centered on kids in the rubble, in December. All three were politicalrealist films, although Staudte used a heavy dose of melodrama (and male self-pity) and expression­ ist lighting and allowed leading lady Hildegard Knef to look glamorous enough to become Germany’s first postwar star, whom David O. Selznick invited to Hollywood. Fraternization was officially prohibited, yet many actresses, including Knef, Gusti Huber, Anneliese Uhlig, Ingeborg von Kusserow, Irene von Meyendorff, and Ilse Werner, married American and British army personnel and went abroad. Film production in the western Allied zone began, inauspiciously to many, with the comedy Sag die...


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