Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Packs

The Man Who Crossed Hitler – character profiles

Sarah Smart and Ed Stoppard

Ed Stoppard plays Hans Litten
Audacious 29 year-old lawyer, who prosecutes Nazi paramilitary thugs for the violence they're wreaking on the streets of Weimar Berlin, and spots an opportunity to summon Adolf Hitler as a witness, in an attempt to expose the paramilitaries' "orders from above", ie Hitler's real violent intentions. Litten is part-Jewish and proud to represent the poor and dispossessed in Berlin, which was a very left-wing city in 1931. He lives with his best friends, the married couple Margot and Max Furst. Margot also supports Hans in his legal practice.

Ian Hart plays Adolf Hitler
This drama is set two years before Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. At this crucial turning point, he is just another politician competing in a crowded arena for political support, from ordinary impoverished people attracted by his rhetoric but also from wealthy industrialists who could provide big money to help the Nazis win elections. So Hitler is having to ride two horses – reassuring his new wealthy backers that he's a legitimate politician who rejects all violence, whilst also keeping his violent street-fighters on-side, to inspire and intimidate ordinary people. Litten is hoping to expose this hypocrisy in public.

Bill Paterson plays Kurt Ohnesorge
The judge, a powerful and intimidating presence in the courtroom whose own mysterious agenda is a significant factor to Hans' success or failure. He watches procedure like a hawk and is not willing to let Hans turn the courtroom into a political circus. He is only interested in proving whether Hitler really did instruct street-violence, not in what Hitler may do in the future – meaning Hans must tread a very careful line.

Sarah Smart plays Margot Furst
Hans Litten's right-hand woman, who works with him in his legal practice and also lives in a small flat with Hans and her husband Max, with whom she has a baby daughter, Birute. Margot is the glue binding the three friends together, she's clever and practical and scared for Hans as he tries to take on Hitler.

John Hollingworth plays Max Furst
Hans Litten's confidant from their teenage years, a passionate anti-fascist who makes furniture when he's not protesting and campaigning against the Nazis. More of an everyman than Hans, he is intelligent but also street smart and practical. Married to Margot.

Anton Lesser plays Rudolf Olden
Litten's friend, a writer and former barrister who has followed Hitler's career throughout the 1920s and encourages Litten to expose Hitler's hypocrisy and violent intentions.

Ruth McCabe plays Irmgard Litten
Hans Litten's mother, a pillar of the community caught between her idealistic son and her fierce husband. She supports Hans' brave attempt to expose Hitler despite the danger this brings to herself and her family and she will go on to fight for Hans' freedom after his arrest.

To top

Press releases by date:

Press release by:

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.