The Artur Brauner Collection at Our Library
Artur Brauner Collection
The Media Library in our Reading Room presents a selection of the work of one of the most successful film producers in German post-war history. Artur Brauner was born in Łódź in 1918 as Abraham Brauner. He fled the Soviet Union in 1940. After the war, along with hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews, he traveled to the Western occupation zone of Germany. In 1946, in the ruins of post-war Berlin, he founded the Central Cinema Company (CCC) with his brother-in-law Joseph Einstein.
Although he initially had no license to produce films, Brauner nonetheless began to do so the same year. After his comedy Herzkönig (King of Hearts), Soviet Military Administration supported him in making the artistically ambitious film Morituri in 1947, which addresses Nazi eliminationist antisemitism. Audiences spurned the film, sometimes even protested, and visitor numbers fell far short of expectations.
Despite this financial fiasco, Brauner's rise to the ranks of West Germany's leading filmmakers began at that time. In the following years, he produced nearly 250 feature-length films, many of them in his own film studio, which he established in 1950 in a former chemical weapons laboratory in the Haselhorst district of Berlin. A steady flow film and television productions by both CCC and outside companies were filmed there until the 1970s.
Brauner's film oeuvre reflects the spectrum of West German film in the post-war decades. It was dominated by light entertainment and rarely addressed serious issues. The CCC produced Heimatfilme (outdoorsy "homeland" films) and comedies as well as thrillers, erotic films, historical dramas, and adventure films. Time and again, Brauner, Fritz Lang, and Robert Siodmak hired directors who had emigrated after 1933.
Since beginning work in Berlin, Brauner appeared in public as a confident Jew and showed his support of the State of Israel in many ways. In the spirit of Morituri, Brauner's cinematic exploration since the 1980s addressed the persecution and murder of European Jewry in collaborations with notable directors such as Andrzej Wajda, István Szabó, and Agnieszka Holland.
Brauner died on 7 July 2019 in Berlin.
- Brauner, Artur. Mich gibt's nur einmal. Rückblende eines Lebens (There's Just One Me: Flashback on a Life). Munich: Herbig, 1976
- Dillmann-Kühn, Claudia. Artur Brauner und die CCC. Filmgeschäft, Produktionsalltag, Studiogeschichte (Artur Brauner and the CCC: The Film Business, Everyday Life in Production, Studio History, 1946–1990). Frankfurt am Main: German Film Museum, 1990.
- Brauner, Alice, ed. CCC Filme in aller Welt (CCC Films Throughout the World). Berlin: CCC Film, 2013.