A German Life
A German Life

A German Life

Brunhilde Pomsel’s life spanned the twentieth century. She struggled to make ends meet as a secretary in Berlin during the 1930s, her many employers including a Jewish insurance broker, the German Broadcasting Corporation and, eventually, Joseph Goebbels. 

Christopher Hampton’s play is drawn from the testimony Pomsel gave when she finally broke her silence shortly before she died to a group of Austrian filmmakers, and from their documentary A German Life (Christian Krönes, Olaf Müller, Roland Schrotthofer and Florian Weigensamer, produced by Blackbox Film & Media Productions).

“I had no idea what was going on. Or very little. No more than most people. So you can’t make me feel guilty.”

Maggie Smith has had an extensive career in theatre, film and television. Her many awards include two Academy awards, five BAFTAs, four Emmys, nine Evening Standard awards and a Tony. She was made DBE in 1990 and a Companion of Honour in 2014.

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks


Christopher Hampton
Jonathan Kent
Jon Clark
Paul Groothuis
Anna Fleischle
Cast list:
Maggie Smith

The Bridge Theatre

3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG
Nearest tube:

A German Life Customer reviews

Our A German Life Review

An elderly woman sitting in a chair, sharing her memories for 1 hour and 40 minutes without an interval, doesn't sound very theatrical. But since that woman is played by Maggie Smith, returning to the stage for the first time since the short-lived The Lady from Dubuque at the Haymarket in 2007, it has inevitably become a major event, selling out its entire run before it even opened.

Latest A German Life News & Features

Maggie Smith Bridge Theatre
Maggie Smith to return to stage for first time in 12 years at the Bridge Theatre
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Maggie Smith will return to the stage for the first time in 12 years to star in a new play by Christopher Hampton directed by Jonathan Kent at the Bridge Theatre, it has been announced. A German Life will tell the story of Brunhilde Pomsel, the personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany. The play is drawn from testimonies given by Pomsel after she spoke to Austrian filmmakers in the 2016 documentary of the same name.

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