Werner Dissel

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Werner Dissel
Born Werner Friedrich Dissel
(1912-08-26)August 26, 1912
Cologne, German Empire
Died January 22, 2003(2003-01-22) (aged 90)
Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany
Occupation Actor.
Years active 1945–2002

Werner Friedrich Dissel (26 August 1912 – 22 January 2003) was a German actor and director.


Dissel's began working as a newspaper photographer in the late 1920s. After the Nazis' rise to power, he became a member of an antifascist group headed by Harro Schulze-Boysen, and was involved in the resistance newspaper Wille zum Reich.[1] Dissel was caught and imprisoned from 1937 to 1939.[2] During his time in prison, the Gestapo arranged for Boysen to visit him, in the hope that something incriminating would be said while the two would be left alone in a tapped room; Boysen passed a cigarette pack to Dissel, on which he wrote that the police had no concrete evidence against him.[3] After his release, Boysen convinced him to volunteer into the Wehrmacht, so he could "destroy Hitler's army from within". Dissel joined the armed forces shortly before the German Invasion of Poland, and served in a military meteorology unit. At 1942, he barely avoided an arrest during the Gestapo's crackdown on the Red Orchestra.[4]

After the war, he openly joined the KPD and decided to pursue his old dream to become an actor. Dissel joined a cabaret in Wiesbaden, and in 1950 emigrated to East Germany.[5] There he appeared in numerous plays, TV shows and movies. He worked with the Berliner Ensemble, DEFA and DFF. He continued his acting career after the reunification.[6] In total, he appeared in more than a hundred film and television productions.

He received the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic at a collective awarding in October 1986.[7]

Selected filmography


  1. Harro Schulze-Boysen. Dieser Tod paßt zu mir. Harro Schulze-Boysen - Grenzgänger im Widerstand, Briefe 1915 bis 1942. ISBN 978-3-351-02493-2. Pages 228, 237.
  2. Erika Bucholtz. Das "Hausgefängnis" der Gestapo-Zentrale in Berlin: Terror und Widerstand 1933-1945. ISBN 978-3-9807205-4-0. Page 217.
  3. Michael Mueller, Geoffrey Brooks. Canaris: the life and death of Hitler's spymaster. ISBN 978-1-59114-101-3. Page 108.
  4. Katholische Filmkommission für Deutschland. Film-Dienst, Volume 56, Issues 1-6. 2002. Page 58.
  5. Thomas Grimm. Erinnerung als Verantwortung: das Zeitzeugen-Archiv in Text und Bild. ISBN 978-3-932529-38-2. Pages 44, 219.
  6. Lexicon of the GDR's Stars, Berlin, 1999. [ISBN 9783896023049].
  7. Erika Tschernig, Monika Kollega, Gudrun Müller. Unsere Kultur: DDR-Zeittafel, 1945-1987. Dietz Verlag (1989). ISBN 978-3-320-01132-1. Page 402.

External links