Ida Ehre acting Hekuba in Euripides' Trojan Women

    Archive Rosemarie Clausen in the State- and University Library of Hamburg, call number: Cl 186-d, 5. With kind permission of Prof. Dr. Bettina Clausen

    Source Description

    This 1947 photograph shows a grieving woman whose figure fills out the entire picture. She wears a frock made of burlap, the preferred substitute cloth for theater costumes during the postwar period, which also used to be worn by penitents; her hairstyle meanwhile alludes to ancient times. Her body is tilted sideways, her gaze lowered, yet her extended arms give this figure a quiet strength and create a dynamic in the image where resignation and resistance keep a balance.

    This enlarged photo in delicate gray shades, a silver gelatin print measuring 28.7 x 21.5 cm, is signed by its creator, theater photographer Rosemarie Clausen, at the bottom right. The back of the photograph is stamped with her name and address and a note written by an unknown author that reads: “Euripides’ Trojan Women – Werfel / director Ulrich Erfurt.” The remains of a photo mount that had once been used for the picture and a note in Clausen’s handwriting that reads: “exhibition images reproduction only by permission” indicate its original use. Most likely it was part of an exhibition in the lobby of Hamburg’s Kammerspiele  Kammerspiele = intimate theatertheater, which is also supported by the photograph’s provenance. The address given on the stamp allows for an approximate dating; in conjunction with the signature it authenticates this image as a vintage print, made by the photographer shortly after the exposure of the negative during a photo rehearsal in September 1947. The image shows Austrian-German Jewish actress Ida Ehre, who founded the second Kammerspiele theater company in 1945, leading it to become one of the major stages in postwar West Germany. Despite all the challenges arising with currency reform, she led the theater for more than four decades until her death.

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    Recommended Citation

    Ida Ehre acting Hekuba in Euripides' Trojan Women, edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [June 21, 2024].