Steffie Spira

Steffie Spira was born in Vienna in 1908 and was, like her parents Lotte and Fritz Spira and her elder sister Camilla, an actress. She displayed her acting ability before the Nazi seizure of power at the Hebbel Theater and the Berlin Volksbühne. Spira continued to act even during her time in exile in Switzerland and later in France and Mexico, taking part in theatre productions such as Brecht’s “Señora Carrar’s Rifles”. Returning to Germany in 1947, the committed Communist settled in the GDR. Here she was again able to find refuge in theatres, among them the Volksbühne and the Deutsches Theater, and also accepted roles in a range of film and tv productions. Spira, who became an honorary member of the Theatremaker’s Union in 1985 and died in Berlin 10 years later, is still particularly remembered for her speech against the GDR regime at the protest demonstration in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz in November 1989, a few days before the fall of the wall.

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