One of the most popular posters in our Poster Gallery sought by website visitors throughout the years has been our original small window poster for the film Hitlerjunge Quex. The film was directed by Hans Steinhoff, with Karl Ritter as Head of Production in 1933.
Prior to the start of the film’s production, Ritter recalled how the boy was found at the last minute to replace the already cast Hermann Braun in the title role. Braun was a fifteen year old child actor with one feature film already under his belt. After shooting commenced, he fell ill and held up the production in its second week, for a further eight days, at great cost. This forced Ritter, as Production Head, to find another boy as quickly as possible to replace him.
Below, Hermann Braun, the first "Heini" / "Quex."
Below, Jürgen Ohlsen as "Quex."
In the Ufa film studio 8 page newspaper Opfergeist/Spirit of Sacrificepromoting the film, published for Hitler Youth across Germany, Ritter wrote an article entitled ‘How I discovered Hitler Youth Quex for the film.’ Ritter recalled that he frantically looked all over Berlin (“Ein Königreich für einen Jungen!”– A kingdom for a boy!) , and called around to find a new actor and eventually told his colleague Willi Domgraf–Faßbaender of the crisis, who said that he knew of a boy in his neighbourhood who could fit the bill, but did not know who he was. After many phone calls, the boy’s parents were successfully contacted, and it happened that the youngster knew the Quex book, because he had been given a copy for his confirmation. Ritter wrote: “Heini II. was on top of it with every fibre of his being, tireless in the unusually often difficult and stressful work.” (Ritter Tagebuch, Juni 1933, S.61.) These and many other heretofore unknown details are to be found in our biography Karl Ritter – His Life and 'Zeitiflms' under National Socialism
Ritter’s diary also states that the boy was “completely foreign to the stage, and was discovered by someone at a spa through his striking outward appearance.” The youngster was named Jürgen Ohlsen.
Jürgen was a member of Bann 195 of the Hitler Youth in Berlin from 15 February 1933 until 24 November 1936. He was born and grew up in Berlin–Charlottenburg.
A full chapter on Jürgen Ohlsen, including details on his HJ, and NS Student Union, membership, his HJ Flying Corps training, Reich Labor Service and 4 1/2 years as a Wehrmacht soldier fighting on the Eastern Front until seriously wounded in early 1944 and evacuated to Vienna, is to be found in our latest book, published in December 2022, entitled Hitler Youth Quex – A Guide for the English–speaking Reader. The chapter also includes information on his expulsion from his Berlin HJ Bann for associating with Jews, his rumoured homosexual affair with the Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach, and ultra-rare photos of him in his own HJ uniform and in a group photo with some of his HJ comrades. It is the most comprehensive biography on Ohlsen published in English, using German Federal Military Archives, amongst others.
The book is available on this website in our Book & Poster Store.