Erich Pommer was born in Hildesheim, Germany. He obtained his first film industry job at age 18 when he began working for Gaumont in Paris; it was not long before Pommer was appointed as the company's director of operations in Central Europe. While fighting WWI, Pommer suffered serious injuries and was discharged in 1915, after which he formed his own production company, Decla (Deutsche Eclair). Eventually Decla and Bioscop merged and this company later merged with UFA in 1923. As a producer, Pommer was noted for his ability to spot talent and for the high production values on his many films, especially those of the '20s and early '30s. He made only German films until 1933, but after the Nazis took over, Pommer, who was Jewish, fled to Paris, where he produced films until 1934 when he moved to Hollywood (where he had earlier spent a short amount of time). Three years later, Pommer moved to London where in conjunction with Charles Laughton, he founded Mayflower Pictures. He returned to Hollywood in 1940. Six years later, after joining the American army, Pommer went back to Germany to help rebuild the German film industry. He remained there, producing films until coming back to the U.S. in 1956.