Ermler, Fridrikh

Ermler, Fridrikh Markovich


Born May 1 (13), 1898, in Rezhitsa (present-day Rēzekne), Latvian SSR; died July 12, 1967, in Leningrad. Soviet motion-picture director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1948). Member of the CPSU from 1919.

From 1923 to 1924, Ermler studied in the acting department of the Leningrad Institute of Screen Art. During the 1920’s he released a number of films, the most important of which was Fragment of an Empire (1929). In 1932 he made a sound film with S. I. Iutkevich, Counterplan, which was one of the first films to deal with the working class and the first five-year plan. His most ambitious work as a director was A Great Citizen (1938–39), which was dedicated to the memory of S. M. Kirov.

The theme of the Communist Party as a guiding force, an important motif in Ermler’s films, is reflected in Peasants (1935). The films She Defends Her Country (1943), and The Great Turning Point (1945) are based on the Great Patriotic War. Ermler’s other films include Unfinished Story (1955) and Let History Judge (1965).

Ermler received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941, twice in 1946, and in 1951. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


Samoilov, A. Fridrikh Ermler. Leningrad, 1970.
Fridrikh Ermler: Dokumenty, stat’i, vospominaniia. (Collection.) Leningrad, 1974.