The Golem: How He Came into the World

The Golem: How He Came into the World (, also referred to as Der Golem) is a 1920 German silent horror film and a leading example of early German Expressionism. Director Paul Wegener, who co-directed the film with Carl Boese and co-wrote the script with Henrik Galeen based on Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel, stars as the titular creature, a being in Jewish folklore created from clay. Photographer Karl Freund went on to work on the 1930s classic Universal horror films years later in Hollywood.


Set in the Jewish ghetto of medieval Prague, the film begins with Rabbi Loew, the head of the city's Jewish community, reading the stars. Loew predicts disaster for his people and informs the elders of the community. The next day the Holy Roman Emperor signs a decree declaring that the Jews must leave the city before the new moon and sends the squire Florian to deliver the decree. Loew, meanwhile, begins to devise a way of defending the Jews.