German 43: Exiles and Émigrés

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Photo of Albert BassermanBassermann, Albert

(Mannheim 1867–New York 1952)

Actor. Already a renowned theater presence in turn-of-the-century Europe, Bassermann made his film debut in Der Andere (1912). The abysmal reviews of the feature did not deter him from continuing to pursue a career in cinema; he went on to make numerous silent films in which he was able to showcase his expressive acting skills. In 1933, he moved to Switzerland with his Jewish wife, and because she was subsequently banned from reentering Germany, Bassermann decided to leave Europe altogether. He played a small role in William Dieterle's Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1939) and thereafter became a popular supporting actor in the industry. Other notable American features in which he appears include: Knute Rockne: All American (1940), Invisible Agent (1942), and Rhapsody in Blue (1945). Unlike many other exiles and émigrés working in America, the roles Bassermann was offered to play were generally positive and likable. He died on an airplane en route from New York to Zurich.

GERMAN 43: Exiles and Émigrés
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