|The Jewish Past of Laupheim|
|How it all began||Carl
Laemmle - Founder of Universal Pictures
Carl Laemmle is the most famous son of Laupheim, he was born in 1867 in the Radstrasse, a street in the Jewish quarter of Laupheim. He emigrated in 1884 and lived for about twenty years as a bookkeeper and office manager in Chicago. As a young entrepreneur, after buying a chain of nickelodeons, he soon had his own film distribution business (Laemmle Film Service), which in 1915 he named Universal Pictures.
With his new firm he moved to California's San Fernando Valley, later to be called Hollywood. There he created most of the things connected up to now with this name. He was the first for instance to make a film featuring a star, and the first to invite the public to tour the facilities of a studio.
During the Thirties, he produced over two hundred films, starring Erich von Strohheim, Lon Chaney, and most famous till today Boris Karloff as the Monster in "Frankenstein", and as "The Mummy" in the identical picture. For his film "All Quiet on the Western Front" in 1930, his son Carl Laemmle jun., won an Oscar. Due to his son's budget excesses Carl Laemmle had to sell Universal in 1936, when he was forced to abandon the film empire he had founded.
In Laupheim Carl Laemmle is remembered till today, not only for his generosity to the community of Laupheim, which he often visited and supported with gifts of money, but also for his engagement for Jewish immigrants to the United States during the mid Thirties. Emigration under the National Socialist regime was an expensive adventure:
One had to pay for the permission to leave Germany and one also had to pay when coming to the United States. It is known that Carl Laemmle paid those dues for hundreds of people, not only from Laupheim, but from the whole of Wuerttemberg, thus saving their lives by his generosity.
Boris Karloff - "The Bride of Frankenstein".
Copyright (c) 2014 - Sabine Maucher