Hermine Sterler

Hermine Sterler (née Minna Stern; 20 March 1894 Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart – 25 May 1982 Stuttgart) was a German actress whose career spanned both the silent and the talkie film eras on two continents.

Hermine Sterler
Minna Stern

(1894-03-20)20 March 1894
Died25 May 1982(1982-05-25) (aged 88)
Years active1921-1966


Sterler, who appeared in several Hollywood films, was once affiliated with the Burgtheater in Vienna.[1]

She debuted in 1918 at the Residenztheater Hannover and later performed in Berlin, where she appeared at the Kleinen Theater ("Little Theater"). She played a saloon lady and, from 1921, often appeared in German silent film. She flourished as a character actor in roles of young wives and mothers. In 1930 she appeared as Tsarina Alexandra in Rasputin, Demon with Women.

In 1933, a German government decree was enacted by Joseph Goebbels under the auspices of a newly created agency called Die Reichskulturkammer (DKK). The decree stipulated that Jewish actors were, among other things, prohibited from performing on German stage. Sterler, who was a Jew, relocated to Vienna in 1933, where she continued to work in theater and cinema.

The Anschluss of Austria ended her artistic career there. Sterler next moved to London. In 1938, she immigrated to the United States from Zurich under the name Minna Stern. Film director Wilhelm Dieterle gave Sterler her first role in American cinema.[2]

During the World War II and after, Sterler played mostly small roles in Hollywood productions portraying German or other European women. In the 1944 anti-Nazi film The Hitler Gang, she played the wife of Ernst Hanfstaengl. On November 10, 1944, Sterler became a United States naturalized citizen in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California at Los Angeles.

In 1956, she acted in Mein Vater, der Schauspieler (de), directed by Robert Siodmak.

Selected filmography

Silent film



Sterler (née Minna Stern) was born 20 March 1894 in Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart, to Max Stern (born 1853) and Bertha Wormser (née Bertha Emilia Wormser; 1865–1936), both of whom married each other 5 July 1888.

See also


General bibliography

  • Kester, Bernadette. Film Front Weimar: Representations of the First World War in German Films of the Weimar Period (1919-1933). Amsterdam University Press, 2003.

Inline citations

  1. "'William Tell' To Be Presented at El Capitan," Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1939, p., col. 6 (accessible via Newspapers.com at www.newspapers.com/image/385384273; subscription required)
  2. "Es wird im Leben dir mehr genommen als gegeben:" Lexikon der aus Deutschland und Österreich emigrierten Filmschaffenden 1933 bis 1945, by Kay Weniger, ACABUS Verlag (de) (2012), p. 486; ISBN 3862820491
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