RIP, Ulrich Mühe


From the wonderful website Sign and Sight, the English-language service of Perlentaucher magazine, comes this celebration of German actor Ulrich Mühe, know to American audiences as the star of the Oscar-winning film "The Lives of Others." He died of cancer last week, aged 54. Mühe, who played the Stasi agent Gerd Wiesler in "The Lives of Others," discovered soon before his death that his wife, GDR actress Jenny Gröllmann, was an informant. From Die Welt:

In the spring of 2006, when actor Ulrich Mühe fought out a legal and press battle with his ex-wife Jenny Gröllmann, many were astonished at his relentless anger. Because Jenny Gröllmann was already terminally ill, and spent her last months fighting rumours that she had informed on her husband for the Stasi during their marriage

The BBC detailed the Mühe-Gröllmann feud in greater detail here.

Die Welt cites Mühe as an organizer of the demonstrations that precipitated the wall's fall:

Mühe contributed personally to the downfall of the GDR. He helped organise and spoke at the large demonstration on Berlin's Alexanderplatz on November 4, 1989, in which hope for "another form of socialism" was articulated one last time, but which above all heightened the panic of the old regime.


Glenn Garvin on Anna Funder's brilliant Stasiland here.

And in case you were unaware, the Ossi skater was a spy.