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Michael Degen (1) [1932–2022]

This page covers the author of Nicht alle waren Mörder: Eine Kindheit in Berlin.

For other authors named Michael Degen, see the disambiguation page.

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Michael Degen was born to a Jewish family in Chemnitz, Germany. After his brother fled the country and his father was deported by the Nazis to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, where he died shortly after World War II, Michael and his mother survived, hidden by friends in Berlin.

He attended drama school and made his stage debut in 1946 at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Following a two-year stay in Israel, Degen returned to Germany to work with the Berliner Ensemble. Over the following decades, he worked with some of the most important stage directors, including Bertolt Brecht, and began directing himself in the late 1960s. He has appeared in more than 100 films.

Degen has been married three times and has four children. In 1999, he published a critically acclaimed autobiography, Nicht alle waren Mörder: Eine Kindheit in Berlin (Not Everyone Was a Murderer: A Childhood in Berlin), which was adapted in 2006 as a film for television. A second volume, Mein heiliges Land: Auf der Suche nach meinem verlorenen Bruder (My Holy Land: In Search of My Lost Brother) was published in 2007. He is also the author of a novel called Blondi (2002), in which he described the atrocities of the Nazi era from the perspective of Hitler's dog.

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