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Heinz Geppert

Retired Faculty

Heinz was a lecturer at the Colorado College from 1991 to 2013 and taught courses on the history of German film. Before coming to CC Heinz taught at the University of Washington, Seattle, the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and Whitman College. Heinz has also spent a year with Seattle Theater Arts and currently alternates with Horst Richardson in directing the yearly German theater productions, which he initiated with Horst at the college in 1966.

My enthusiasm for theater and film goes back to the early years of my childhood. I did a lot of reading in the long, Silesian winters and staged some of the stories in the summer with other kids from the neighborhood. All you needed was a rope, some blankets, discarded clothes, and lots of imagination. Most of the men were at war, but all the mothers came with their other children and provided the 'audience.' When I was about seven or eight, I turned into a movie buff. I would make pilgrimages to all the movie houses in town and spent hours in front of their displays. It was better than school! When the time came to join the Hitler Youth at ten years of age, I found all the marching and singing in the streets boring and preferred to spend those afternoons at the movies. Sure, I was caught, warned, and reprimanded a few times, but somehow I always managed to get away.

All those flights from authority were good practice and trained me to avoid being drafted in the last weeks of the war to fight Russian tanks with hand grenades and later to escape Russian and Polish forced labor camps. Silesia was given to Poland and in 1946 all Germans from the Eastern regions were relocated to the West. There my career as kitchen help with the English occupation troops began. Working "my way up" in the Hotel and Restaurant business was the result of that philosophy of survival, and it has helped me later in my spotty academic career when I worked at such diverse places as the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (N.Y.), the Space Needle (Seattle), and the Broadmoor Hotel to fill in the gaps between teaching jobs.

Education

    Heinz Geppert received his B.A. from Colorado College in 1968 and then went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle. The title of his doctoral dissertation was, "Georg Kaisers Dramentyp: Theorie und Bühnengestaltung."