Erwin Leiser

Active - 1961 - 1993  |   Died - Aug 22, 1996   |   Genres - Drama, History, Historical Film

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

German-born filmmaker Erwin Leiser is best known for making the documentary Mein Kampf (1960) a disturbing chronicle of Nazi atrocities taken directly from their secret vaults after the war. Leiser was born and raised in Berlin, but fled to Sweden at age 15 to escape the Nazis. Following graduation from the University of Lund, Leiser worked as a journalist and a drama and literary critic. After the success of Mein Kampf, Leiser subsequently made other Nazi-centered documentaries, including Following the Fuhrer (1986). He also made around 50 other documentaries that explored such topics as Hiroshima and the atom bomb, writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Holocaust and painter Willem de Kooning.