Henny Porten

Henny Porten
1890 Magdeburg (Germany) – 1960 Berlin (Germany)
Country: Germany

In 1935, the international film world descends on Harnack House for a convention. Little wonder, as Berlin, with its UFA studios in nearby Potsdam, is one of the most important locations worldwide in the booming entertainment industry. Henny Porten is also among the stars. However, her star is already on the wane, as her husband and producer is considered "half-Jewish" under Nazi criteria. A forced divorce is out of the question for the film star and she prefers to relinquish the major parts that she previously played alongside stage idols like Emil Jannings and Gustaf Gründgens.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Society immortalised Porten’s face as an ideal of classical beauty in its emblem Minerva: the bust can be found in Dahlem and adorns the entrance of the modern-day Otto Suhr Institute next to Harnack House. It was open-ed in 1927 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics and from 1933 supported the race ideology of the Nazi regime, against which Henny Porten clearly fought.

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