Kirsten Heiberg

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Kirsten Heiberg
Kirsten Heiberg.jpg
Kirsten Heiberg, between 1930–1935
Born (1907-04-25)25 April 1907
Norway Kragerø, Telemark
Died 2 March 1976(1976-03-02) (aged 68)
Norway Oslo
Years active 1929-1970s
Spouse(s) Franz Grothe (1938-death)

Kirsten Heiberg (25 April 1907 – 2 March 1976) was a Norwegian actress and singer who had a major film career in Germany between 1938 and 1954. A 2014 Klassekampen article said that Bjørn-Erik Hanssen (author of a 2014 book about Heiberg) "did not say that she was a Nazi", but that he thought that there was a lot that pointed in that direction.[1]

Heiberg was a Nazi, but was not punished by the Norwegians, as she was a German citizen.[2]


Heiberg grew up in the towns Kragerø, Kongsberg and Oslo, and studied in Lausanne, Dijon and Paris. Later, she studied English in Oxford, England.

She made her debut at Den Nationale Scene in 1929, and in the 1930s at the Carl Johan-Teatret and Scala Revyteater in Oslo. After guest appearances in the operatta revue "Pam-Pam" at Theater an der Wien in 1937, she began a career in Germany both as a film actress and recording artist. She became a significant actress in the German film industry and The Third Reich's femme fatale - the "new Marlene Dietrich". In Vienna, she met the composer Franz Grothe, who was a member of the NSDAP. They married in Oslo in 1938 and moved to Berlin.

In the autumn of 1940, she was "traveling around and singing for the German troops", after already having played in two success-movies.[3]

Because Heiberg had not immediately joined the NSDAP, she had two years without work, but she soon rose to the top again (1943 in "Liebespremiere"). (This is not right. Kirsten Heiberg received a film interdiction because of her official complaint of the occupation of her Norwegian homeland. She returned to the screen in replacement of Zarah Leander who has left Germany in the picture "Liebespremiere" that was an adaption of the great stage success of Zarah Leander's "Axel an der Himmelstür". Her colleague in the picture Hans Söhnker was well known for his anti-opinion against the Nazis, so this kind of encounter has a glance of delicateness. German article of Wikipedia. In Germany the film history has no indication that Kirsten Heiberg was a sympathizer of the ruling government. She received her denazification by the Allies shortly after the war.<Friedhelm Beyer: Frauen im Film des Dritten Reiches.

In 1946 she dubbed Marlene Dietrich in the German version of the French picture "Martin Roumaniac".

After World War Two[edit]

Back in Norway after the war, she met great difficulty in finding roles due to her time in Germany during the war. However, she was not arrested by the Norwegians since she was a German citizen[citation needed] by that time. In Germany, she was seen in four films after the war. In Trondheim, she took an engagement as a resident at Trøndelag Teater 1952–60, acting in operettas, comedies, and serious classics and modern dramas. She also sporadically appeared in the Oslo scene in the 1960s and 70s.

She was the sister of author Else Heiberg.


On 15 August 2008, the premiere was held of the play "Glamour for Goebbels" at Haugesund Teater as part of the film festival. Elsa Aanensen played Kirsten Heiberg. Øyvind Osmo Eriksen was the instructor for the performance, and Halvor Lillesund was pianist. On 14 May 2009, the play moved to Det Åpne Teater in Oslo.

Film clips and music were integrated in the play. It contained film of Aanensen as Kirsten Heiberg, but no clips from her old films were used. "Glamour for Goebbels" mostly dealt with Heiberg's time in Berlin, where she lived a glamorous lifestyle.

Filmography and discography[edit]



  • Dixiana - performed at Stockholm Odeon August 1932. Not released!
  • Är det sån't man kallar kärlek
  • Min cigarett og jeg - Scala revue "Vi har den ære". Performed in Oslo for His Master's Voice 1935
  • Vi selv og våre hjem - See above
  • Abends am Klavier, 1937 (Duet with Fritz Spielmann )
  • Unsichtbare Tränen, 1937
  • Wie der Schnee vom vergangenen Jahr, 1937
  • Frag nicht nach der Vergangenheit, 1937
  • Warum hat der Napoleon, 1938
  • Ich bin wie ich bin, 1938
  • Schließ deine Augen und träume
  • Zeig der Welt nicht dein Herz,1938
  • Auf den Flügeln bunter Träume, 1938
  • Ganz leise, 1938
  • Mein lieber Freund, sie sind heut eingeladen, 1939
  • Ja und nein, 1939
  • Für eine Stunde Leidenschaft, 1942
  • Serenade vom Rattenfänger, 1942
  • Komm, Zauber der Nacht [1], 1943
  • Ich bin heut frei, meine Herren, 1943 [2]
  • Mein Herz liegt gefangen in deiner Hand, 1943
  • Ich steh' allein', 1945
  • Es bleibt doch unter uns, 1945
  • Didi Song (= Halunkenpostille), 1949
  • Das Lied von den ausfahrenden Schiffen, 1949
  • Die Moritat vom verlorenen Sohn, 1949
  • Valse bleue in Moll, 1950
  • Komm, Zigeuner nimm die Geige, 1950
  • So oder so ist das Leben, 1954


Glamour for Goebbels (2014) by Bjørn-Erik Hanssen[4]


  1. ^ Mari Brenna Vollan (2014-10-28). "Hun gjorde nazismen glamorøs". Klassekampen. Selv om han ikke skriver at hun var nazist, mener han at det er mye som peker i den retning. 
  2. ^ Adresseavisen: Nazisten på Trøndelag Teater WHAT YEAR?
  3. ^ Mari Brenna Vollan (2014-10-28). "Hun gjorde nazismen glamorøs". Klassekampen. Berlin 1940 (...) Hun har spilt i to suksessfilmer, og denne høsten reiser hun rundt og synger for tyske tropper. 
  4. ^ Mari Brenna Vollan (2014-10-28). "Hun gjorde nazismen glamorøs". Klassekampen. 

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