Gert Fröbe - World star brings Hollywood feeling to his home town

When Karl Gerhart "Gert" Fröbe was born in Oberplanitz on 25 February 1913, nobody could have foreseen that this little boy would one day conquer the big wide world so successfully. He became a top class multi award-winning actor: Gert Fröbe is among the most important German character actors of the 20th century. His filmography is infinitely long. Fröbe often played in (international) productions with cult status. His roles as the child murderer in the classic thriller "It Happened in Broad Daylight" from 1958 and as the villain Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond 007 flick of the same name from 1964 made him particularly famous. When the American Film Institute made a list of the 100 best villains in film history, the character he impersonated landed on position 49. Gert Fröbe is probably known to every child as the robber Hotzenplotz, and most people also know "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes".

Zwickau's residents affectionately and imaginatively celebrated the 100th birthday of its famous son in 2013. As "dor rode Geicher von Zwigge" ("the red fiddler of Zwickau"), Gert Fröbe made his first artistic appearance in his young years in garden restaurants, at weddings or for dances at the "Kaiserhof" in his home town. With this he wanted to support his parents financially during the hyperinflation period. The name of this popular figure is still quite present in Zwickau, especially since his birthplace in the former Marktstraße, now Edisonstraße 11, where his nephew Eckehart Baumann now lives, is a popular address. A plaque commemorates Gert Fröbe, whose father ran a shop for leather goods and a shoe repair shop there at the time. There is still a shop and a workshop there today, which is why the family's house is an address that is often visited by Zwickauers and guests. Because a coveted wooden souvenir of Zwickau is made in the workshop: the Zwickauer Spaßvogel, a bird sculpture. This is probably the jolliest greeting from the home town of the great mime Gert Fröbe, which you can buy there in a welcoming shop. The production of the Spaßvogel and other beautiful wooden products has been taken over by Daniel Baumann, the son of Fröbe's nephew Eckehart, after a company handover.