Lotte H. Eisner
Early life, education and career
She was born Lotte Henriette Eisner in Berlin as a daughter of a Jewish merchant and his wife. After studies in Berlin and Munich, from 1927 she worked as a theater and film critic for German newspapers. Among others, she wrote for Film-Kurier, a daily film newspaper published in Berlin.
In 1933 she fled from Germany to France to avoid the rising anti-Jewish persecution by the Nazis. During World War II she hid for a time, but finally was caught and interned in the French concentration camp at the town of Gurs in Aquitaine, France. (Foreign Jews were interned as aliens.) She managed to survive the war, and after the Liberation she returned to Paris.
Lotte H. Eisner continued to write for the monthly Cahiers du Cinéma and La Revue du Cinéma. In 1974, learning that Eisner was seriously ill and on the verge of death, the German film director Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris to visit her, in the faith that she would be well again when he arrived. His journey is recounted in Herzog's book Of Walking in Ice. She had been a mentor to him.
Legacy and honors
- Eisner was awarded membership in the French Legion of Honor in 1982.
- Wim Wenders' film Paris, Texas (1984) is dedicated to her memory.
- The director Werner Herzog featured a discussion with her in his autobiographical documentary, Portrait of Werner Herzog (1986).
- Murnau, London, Secker and Warburg, 1973 ISBN 978-0-436-09700-3.
- Fritz Lang, Da Capo Press, New Edition 1986, ISBN 0-306-80271-6
- Die dämonische Leinwand, engl. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt, University of California Press, Second Edition 2008, ISBN 0-520-25790-1
- Ich hatte einst ein schönes Vaterland. Memoiren, Munich: dtv, 1988 - she describes her collaboration with the eccentric Henri Langlois.
- Lotte H. Eisner, Essay about Louise Brooks and the film Pandora's Box (1929), directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst
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