Yesterday evening I watched a DVD that I believe was sent to me a long time ago by a German Wyneken relative. I have vague memories that it might have been Erika, who sadly died last December, but I think I asked her once about it and she couldn’t remember anything about it, either.
The movie is titled “Irgendwo in Berlin”, which translates to “Somewhere in Berlin”. There is an English Wikipedia page about it, but the German Wikipedia page has a lot more interesting information about it so here is an English translation.
The movie was filmed in 1946 and was one of the first movies the allied occupation forces allowed the Germans to produce. The story is set in the rubble of Berlin. I don’t think the movie is a great masterpiece but I was nevertheless really moved by it. It depicts the wasteland that was Germany after World War II and the difficult task they were faced with in trying to get their country back going.
So where is the Wyneken connection? For the longest time I had no idea. If it really was Erika who sent it to me, was it maybe because she had settled down in Berlin as an adult? That doesn’t really make much sense.
And then at one point I noticed the name Erich Einegg in the credits. He was responsible for the music in the movie. Erich Einegg was only his stage name, though. In reality his name was Wulff Wyneken (1898-1966). Wulff was descended from a long line of military officers. Maybe that’s why he felt it necessary to use a different name for his musical career. He was active in the lively musical scene in Berlin of the 1920’s as a piano player and composer. His Wikipedia article says that he wrote pop songs, cabaret songs and chansons. He made a few records and wrote the music for three movies.
Was this maybe the reason that the person who sent me the DVD, whoever that was, sent it? I have the feeling I’ll never know for sure. But I’m glad I watched the movie and I’m glad to know the Wyneken connection.
As an interesting footnote to people familiar with German television shows, when I looked up the name of the main child actor of the movie, Charles Brauer, in order to find out how old he was when he acted in the movie, I discovered I was very familiar with his face!