BiographyOppeln, Silesia, Germany [now Opole, Opolskie, Poland]
Jan Fethke proved himself to be a creative chameleon, writing books & film scripts in languages as diverse as German, Polish, and the artificial language "Esperanto" (invented by a Polish doctor, Zamenhof). Fethke also directed films in Germany and in Poland in different decades, and found time somehow to edit an Esperanto literary magazine. In fact, his diverse activities and names seem to have confused some data bases into thinking that Jan Fethke (real name), "Johannes Fethke," and even "Jean Forge" (!) were 3 different people, when in fact he was just one individual. Read more... gadgetry is reflected in his work to spread Esperanto (once thought to be the world-language of the future) and in his occasional science-fiction writings, particularly his last 2 Berlin scripts ("Silent Star," "1000 Eyes of Mabuse"). An intriguing mystery about Herr-Pan Fethke, which may never be solved, is how he managed to rotate film work in Nazi Germany (1934-45) with film work in Poland (1935-40 and again beginning in 1949). Perhaps he resembled blacklisted US writers and directors, who used aliases for some of their film assignments (Dalton Trumbo = "Robert Rich," etc.). It's conceivable some of his employers weren't aware that Fethke & "Forge" were one and the same individual. These name switches may also be connected somehow with the Cold War, since in 1949 two different Polish films imported to the US experienced similar changes. Fethke in "Border Street" was renamed "Forge," and in "The Treasure" director Leonard Buczkowski was renamed "Marian Leonard." Go figure.