The Golem (1915)


The movie The Golem (1915) is a partially lost German silent horror film written and directed by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen. It was inspired by a Jewish folktale, the most prevalent version of the story involving 16th century Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel who created the Golem to protect his people from antisemites.

In The Golem (1915), an antiques dealer (Henrik Galeen) searching the ruins of a Jewish temple, finds a golem (Paul Wegener), a clay statue that had been brought to life four centuries earlier by a Kabbalist rabbi using a magical amulet to protect the Jewish people from persecution. The dealer resurrects the golem as a servant, but the golem falls in love with Jessica (Lyda Salmonova), the dealer’s daughter. When she does not return his love, the golem goes on a rampage and commits a series of murders. [1]


  • Paul Wegener as Golem
  • Rudolf Blümner as Gelehrter
  • Carl Ebert as Troedler
  • Henrik Galeen as Troedler, the antiques dealer
  • Lyda Salmonova as Jessica
  • Robert A. Dietrich
  • Jakob Tiedtke


The movie The Golem (1915) was the first of a trilogy produced by Wegener, followed by The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917) and The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920). [1]


“Wartime advertisements promoted Der Golem as a “film for educated people”, and highlighted that Wegener was serving at the front and had been decorated with the Iron Cross. The ‘most successful film of its time’ ran for four weeks in a number of cinemas in Berlin, and was seen by more than 100,000 picturegoers. The film was also exported to Scandinavia, Poland, Japan, and the U.S. In America, where it was retitled The Monster of Fate, the film’s German origin went unmentioned.” [2]

“In the Jewish folktale tradition the Golem is also a figure of return, awaiting revival in the days to come. Wegener’s Der Golem similiarly enjoys renewed popularity among today’s German audiences, while a number of post-war Jewish artists are drawing on the Golem to declare the re-emergence of Jewish life in Germany. Undoubtedly, Wegener made a significant contribution to the enduring popularity of the Golem, both in German culture and internationally.” [3]


[1] Wikipedia



Last updated byCody Meirick on November 26, 2023