Germany has a rich history with the Oscars, having won numerous awards over the years. The first German actor to win the prestigious award was Emil Jannings in 1929. He won the Best Actor award for his roles in “The Fate of the Flesh” (1927) and “The Last Order” (1928). However, Jannings’ association with the Nazis after World War II resulted in a ban on him from acting.
Luise Rainer, born in Düsseldorf, became the first German actress to win an Oscar in the category of “best leading actress”. She won the award twice; first in 1937 for her role in “The Great Ziegfeld” and then in 1938 for her work in “The Good Earth”.
Bernhard Grzimek, along with his son Michael, won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 1960 for “The Serengeti Must Not Die”. This made him the first German to win the award after World War II.
Germans have also been recognized for their work behind the scenes, with the architects Hans Jürgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel, and Rolf Zehetbauer winning an award for their set design for the film “Cabaret” in 1972.
In the category of “best foreign language film”, a German film won the award in 1980. Volker Schlöndorff’s film “The Tin Drum”, based on Günter Grass’s novel, won this award. The film starred David Bennent, who played the role of little Oskar Matzerath, a boy who at the age of three decides not to grow any longer.
Director Caroline Link won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2003 for “Somewhere in Africa”, which was based on Stefanie Zweig’s autobiographical novel.
One of the most acclaimed German films, “The Lives of Others”, won the award for Best Foreign Film in 2007. It was the film debut of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and tells a story about the intelligence service of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), known as the Stasi.
Christoph Waltz, the German-Austrian actor, won two Oscars for Supporting Actor awards in 2009 and 2012, both for his roles in Quentin Tarantino’s films.
Hans Zimmer, the famous German composer, has been nominated for an Oscar 12 times, winning twice. He won first in 1995 for “The Lion King” and then again in 2022 for “Dune”.
In 2018, Gerd Nefzer, a special effects artist, won his first Oscar for “Blade Runner 2049”. He won again in 2022 along with his team for “Dune”.
Recently, the German film “All Quiet on the Western Front” made history by becoming the most nominated German film in the history of the Oscars, receiving nine nominations and winning four awards, including Best International Film.
From actors to special effects artists, Germans have contributed greatly to the film industry and their recognition by winning Oscars is a testament to their hard work and talent.