Maetzig, Kurt

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maetzig, Kurt


Born Jan. 25, 1911, in Berlin. German film director (GDR). Member of the German Academy of Arts.

In 1935, Maetzig graduated from the Higher Technical School. He began working in the cinema in 1933. During World War II he joined the Communist Party of Germany. He was one of the founders of the GDR film industry; in 1946 he became the artistic director of the DEFA Film Studio. Maetzig’s work was marked by an antifascist orientation and by social comment. His films Marriage in the Shade (1947), The Gay-colored Checked Ones (1949), and Council of the Gods (1950) are about the period of fascism in Germany and the war years. Maetzig’s films Ernst Thdlmann, Son of His Class (1954; Peace Prize at the Eighth International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary) and Ernst Thäl-mann, Leader of His Class (1955) were significant events.

In 1967, Maetzig made the film The Banner of Krivoi Rog, about German miners who during the years of Nazism kept the banner that had been given to them by their Soviet comrades in 1929. In 1954 he founded the Higher German Film School in Babelsberg (now the Higher German School of Film and Television); since 1955 he has been a professor. Maetzig has received the National Prize of the GDR (1949, 1950, 1954, 1959).


Kas’ianova, L., and A. Karavashkin. Doroga k masterstvu. Moscow, 1973. Pages 17–55.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.