Katrin Hennig and Harry Hindemith in the TV film "Ninotschka sucht den Frühling" (1973); Photo: U. Fleischer
Katrin Hennig and Harry Hindemith in the TV film "Ninotschka sucht den Frühling" (1973); Photo: U. Fleischer

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Harry Hindemith

Biography


Harry Hindemith (1948); Foto: E. Kilian



16 June 1906

Born in Brussels

Hindemith studies at music colleges in Mannheim and Karlsruhe. He works as a bank messenger and takes acting lessons at Hans Finohr in Würzburg.

1925

He becomes a member of the communist youth association KJVD. Three years later, he joins the German communist party KPD.

1930

Stage debut at Stadttheater Würzburg. He also plays in Allenstein and Wuppertal.

1933

Hindemith is arrested by the Nazis. Due to his KPD membership, acting restrictions are imposed on him.

1937

He becomes a member of the NSDAP.

1944

Film debut in Junge Adler (DIR: Alfred Weidenmann). Here, Hindemith has a short appearance.

1945

After the end of the war, he plays at the theatre in Rostock. Gustav von Wangenheim gets him to Berlin where he, together with Paul Wegener, plays in the opening staging of Lessing's "Nathan der Weise" at the Deutsches Theater.

He becomes a member of the KPD and later of the SED.

1946

Hindemith plays his first main role as homecoming soldier Iller in the DEFA film Irgendwo in Berlin (DIR: Gerhard Lamprecht).

1949

He plays the role of Ernst Weber, a simple working man who self-confidently opposes to his bourgeois father and his intellectual brother, in Unser täglich Brot (DIR: Slatan Dudow),.

1954

Theatre engagements at the Volksbühne and the Maxim-Gorki-Theater in Berlin.

1961

Hindemith works for GDR television for the first time and plays a role in the five-part film Gewissen in Aufruhr (DIR: Hans-Joachim Kasprzik). During the following years, he predominantly works for television and acts in several multipart productions (e.g., Krupp und Krause (DIR: Horst E. Brandt, Heinz Thiel) and Der Sonne Glut (DIR: Christian Steinke, Roland Oehme)) that become relevant to cultural politics.

1960s / 1970s

Hindemith's television work constantly increases. His cliché role - the upright working man whose class-conscious behaviour was supposed to be exemplary for the socialist GDR citizen - dominates most of his work. As exceptions, he plays an idiosyncratic patriarch of a fishery brigade in Hochzeit in Länneken 1964 (DIR: Heiner Carow), a bourgeois master in Die besten Jahre 1965 (DIR: Günther Rücker) and an anti-working-class, raving old-school teacher of the 1930s in Kuttel 1961 (DIR: Siegfried Menzel).

He becomes chairman of the Film Personnel Club and chairman of the Art Union in Berlin.

1973

Hindemith has his last appearance in the TV film Ninotschka sucht den Frühling (DIR: Ursula Schmenger).

21 January 1973

He dies in East Berlin



Collection of biographical data: P. Warnecke