Professor Mamlock

(Professor Mamlock)

GDR, 1961, 93 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


A Jewish chief surgeon in Berlin, Professor Mamlock believes in reason, humanism and his country. As 1933 begins, he remains blind to the increasing anti-Semitism around him. He is troubled by those with opposing political views and throws his communist-leaning son out of the house. And he cannot believe that his daughter is driven from her school because she is Jewish. As the Nazis consolidate their power and new racial laws bar Mamlock from working at his hospital, his devastation leaves him no alternative.


This film is based on the 1933 play written by Friedrich Wolf—a German-Jewish physician and renowned activist playwright, as well as the father of the director—in exile in Switzerland and France. The play premiered at the Kaminski Yiddish Theater in Warsaw in 1934. In 1938, a first film adaptation was produced in the USSR by Herbert Rappaport and Adolf Minkin.


1961 Silver Lotus, New Delhi Film Festival

Press comments

“The film contains some fine performances, particularly by Wolfgang Heinz in the name part. The photography is crisp and direct, and the whole film is an example of superior craftsmanship. The sequence of the parade through the streets at carnival time deserves special mention. A most moving and poignant tragedy of one family, representing the tragedy of millions.”  —1962 Melbourne International Film Festival


Buy the DVDStream
DVD Bonus Features:
  • New digitally restored version
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • “The Careers of Professor Mamlock,” by Stefan Soldovieri (Univ. of Toronto)
  • “Friedrich Wolf: Beyond the Jewish/Communist Divide,” by Wolf biographer Henning Müller
  • Friedrich Wolf: Biographical Information and Images
  • Gallery: Making the Film, photos by Walter Ruge
  • Original Movie Poster

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