OLGA TSCHECHOWA : PROLIFIC RUSSIAN-GERMAN ACTRESS : FRIENDS WITH HITLER, GORING, AND GOEBBELS : WORLD WAR II SPY?

This risque vintage real photo postcard features Russian-German actress, Olga Tschechowa (1897-1980). Her father was a railway engineer who became Russia’s Minister of Railways. She was the niece of Anton Chekov’s wife. She went to school and studied art and literature at an art school in St. Petersburg. . After watching famed actress Eleonora Duse, Olga joined the Moscow Art Theare’s studio. In 1914, while at the school, she met Russian-Jewish actor Mikhail Chekov. He was the nephew of Anton Chekov. She married him the same year and they had a daughter in 1916. In 1917, during the October Revolution, she divorced her husband. It is reported that he had an affair while Olga was pregnant. Olga would marry three more times. She joined a cabaret group and was offered a part in a silent movie. She travelled to Vienna and moved to Berlin in 1920, She continued to perform in films. She was one of the fortunate actresses who successfully made the transition from silent to sound movies. In the 1930’s she became one of the leading actresses of the Third Reich and was admired by Adolf Hitler. Olga was courted by Hermann Goring and Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels introduced her to Hitler in 1933 and she and Hitler became friends. In 1936, she was named “State Actress” of the Third Reich and she was made a German citizen. Olga’s brother was sent from Russia to Germany on a secret mission to assassinate Hitler. Stalin got cold feet and called off the “hit”. The brother ended up in a Nazi concentration camp, but survived the war. At one point, Olga was accused of being a Russian agent in Nazi Germany. Himmler ordered an investigation of Olga by the SS. She was often kept under surveillance by both Nazi and Soviet agents. In 1945, Himmler planned to arrest her but Hitler intervened. Olga survived the war through lying, acting, and disguise. She protected her daughter from the concentration camps by hiding the fact that she had a Jewish father. At the war’s end, Olga was arrested by the Red Army and brought to Moscow for a debriefing. She was interrogated for two months and then taken to Berlin to assist the Soviet Army. She established herself in East Berlin. She played in dramas but preferred comedies.  Olga was very successful in the film business,. Her filmography reveals that she has 138 credits as an actor, director, and producer between the years of 1917 and 1974. After the World War II, she lived in Soviet occupied Berlin and in 1949 she moved to Munich, Bavaria. In Munich she started a cosmetics company. Simultaneously she continued to act in more than 20 films.   She published a book of memoirs and retired from acting in the 1970’s. In 1966, her daughter died in a plane crash. Olga suffered from depression and alcohol abuse. She died in Munich and just before she died, she had her granddaughter bring her a glass of champagne, Her last words were purported to be “Life is beautiful”. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 3040/1). The front of the card has the logo for UFA, a German film company. This vintage portrait postcard is uncommon.  (SOLD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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