Jacob Fleck

Jacob Fleck (8 November 1881 in Vienna as Jacob Julius Fleck – 19 September 1953, also in Vienna) was an Austrian film director, screenwriter, film producer and cameraman. He is noted for his long-standing professional partnership with his wife Luise Fleck who co-directed his films with him.


In 1910, together with Anton Kolm, Kolm's wife Luise (who later married Fleck), and her brother Claudius Veltée, Jacob Fleck established the film production company Erste Österreichische Kinofilms-Industrie in Wien-Alsergrund. The company changed its name only a year later to Wiener Kunstfilm-Industrie, in which Fleck worked partly as a cameraman, but principally as a producer and director together with Luise Kolm in making numerous films.

Anton Kolm died in 1922. In 1923 Fleck moved with Luise Kolm to Berlin, where they married in 1924: Luise was known from then on as Luise Fleck. Both of them worked for Hegewald-Film and UFA. In the 1920s they were known as the "director-couple" (Regieehepaar). In this period they produced between 30 and 40 films, but in 1933, after Hitler took power, they returned to Austria, as Jacob Fleck was Jewish.

In 1938, as an effect of the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria to Germany), Jews were categorically excluded from the film industry.[1] Fleck was obliged to earn his living as a photographer's re-toucher. In 1938 he was interned, at first in the concentration camp Buchenwald and then in Dachau, for a period of 16 months. In 1939/40 both the Flecks emigrated to Shanghai. The Chinese director Fei Mu filmed with them as a co-production the film Söhne und Töchter der Welt ("Sons and Daughters of the World"). It was the only collaboration between Chinese and foreign film artists prior to the foundation of the People's Republic of China, and premiered on 4 October 1941 in the Yindu Theatre in Shanghai.

In 1947, the year of the opening of Austria's first post-war film studio - Belvedere Film, established by Emmerich Hanus and Elfi von Dassanowsky - the Flecks returned to Austria, in order to plan their comeback, which however never took off. Jacob Fleck died in 1953, three years after his wife.

Selected filmography

As director

As producer

As screenwriter

  • 1912 - Zweierlei Blut
  • 1917 - Mir kommt keiner aus
  • 1918 - Die Geisel der Menschheit
  • 1920 - Eva, die Sünde
  • 1924 - Frühlingserwachen
  • 1941 - Söhne und Töchter der Welt


  1. in practice they had been more or less excluded since 1936, when Germany pressurised the Austrian film industry to follow German race laws by threatening to ban all Austrian film imports into Germany
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