TWO PORTRAITS OF GERMAN FILM ACTRESS MARINA VON DITMAR

These two real photo postcards feature German film actress Marina von Ditmar (1914-2014), a leading lady of the 1930’s and 40’s. . She was born in the Russia Empire and was of Baltic German descent. When she moved to Germany she studied acting. Her first roles were appearances at Schauspielhaus, Bremen, and the Altes Theater (Leipzig). In 1937 she joined the ensemble at the Volksbuhne in Berlin and by 1940, she was a permanent actress at this venue. Her first major movie success was in “The Csardas Princess” (1934). In 1943, she starred in “Muchhausen”, a film that had great commercial success. Von Ditmar was also well known for her role in “The Big Shadow” (1942). She appeared in several Nazi propaganda film including Stukas (1941). She married D. Hans-Georg Dehnhardt (1913-2001), a leading physician and owner of a sanitarium,  Soon after her marriage, she retired from acting. The IMDB credits Miss von Ditmar with thirty film roles. The top postcard was published by Film-Forto-Verlag and was part of a series (A 2622/1). The photographer was Baumann and there is an advertising logo for the German film company UFA. The bottom postcard was also published by Film-Foto-Verlag and was part of a series (no. A 3926/1). The photographer was Binz and there is an advertising logo for Prag Films. The Prag company produced 14 films between 1943 and 1945. Many of the people employed to produce these films were Czechs who were forced by war time German authorities to produce these films. The photographer, Tita Binz (1903-1970), was German and she photographed many film stars of the Third Reich, She also made portraits of the soldiers who earned the Knight’s Cross (the highest military award in Nazi Germany). Binz began her career by apprenticing in Paris between 1928 and 1930. She was an apprentice for her uncle, the celebrated photographer, Leopold Reutlinger whose studio was opened in 1850 and became of the worlds most renowned studios. Binz settled in Berlin and worked for various photo studios until opening her own studio in 1938. She specialized in portrait photography and photographed actors, artists, politicians, and other celebrities. One of her clients was the publisher Film-Foto-Verlag (formerly Ross Verlag). The founder of the company, Heinrich Ross was forced out in 1937 by the National Socialists because he was Jewish and Jews were not allowed to own businesses. Ross Verlag retained it’s name until 1941. Film-Foto-Verlag became known for it’s postcard portraits of film stars of the German and Italian cinema. Today, many of Binz’s photo portraits can be found in the collection owned by the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

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