Set during the rise of the Nazi regime, Marriage in the Shadows is modeled after the tragic true story of Meta and Joachim Gottschalk. In the film, Elisabeth Maurer and Hans Wieland enjoy successful careers as actors in Berlin; Elisabeth in particular is adored by the public. Confident in her career, Elisabeth, who is Jewish, ignores the advice of a colleague to leave Germany in the face of increasing anti-Semitism. When Nazi influence on the theater's management grows, Elisabeth is forbidden from performing. Believing that he can protect her if she becomes his wife, Hans convinces Elisabeth to marry him. In the following years, as Hans's career thrives, Elisabeth awaits the end of the Nazi terror which bars her from public life. When the situation worsens in 1938 with the Kristallnacht pogrom, Elisabeth decides to leave the country, but Hans, who still believes he can protect her, convinces her to stay with him. Eventually Elisabeth is scheduled to be deported; instead of accepting separation, the couple opts for a double suicide.
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DEFA Film Library
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