Kurt Gerron was born in Berlin on May 11th 1897. He initially studied medicine but after being wounded in the First World War became a stage actor in 1920.
Throughout the Weimar period Kurt Gerron was one of its’ biggest stars.
He appeared in every major cabaret and Revue of the era and appeared in over 70 films, both silent and sound.
He starred opposite Marlene Dietrich in ‘The Blue Angel’ and was an original cast member of ‘Die Dreigroschenoper’ in 1928 , premiering the song ‘Die Morität de Mackie Messer’ ( Mack The Knife) and making it his own
When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, he moved to Amsterdam and continued to make films and appear in Revues. He declined an offer from Marlene Dietrich to come to Hollywood believing that his certificate exempting him from deportation as a war veteran would be honoured. After the German occupation of the Netherlands he was interned in Westerbork transit camp in mid –1943 before being sent to Theresienstadt – the “paradise ghetto”, near Prague on 25 February 1944.
There he ran a cabaret called “The Karussell” to entertain the ghetto inmates.
In 1944 he was coerced by The Nazis into making a propaganda film on the ‘idyllic’ and ‘humane’ conditions at the camp entitled “The Führer Gives The Jews A City”
After completion of the film, Gerron and his wife were deported to Auschwitz on the final transport, and gassed in Birkenau on 28 October 1944.