Henry Koster (May 1, 1905 – September 21, 1988) was born Herman Kosterlitz in Berlin, Germany. He became a film director and later moved to Hollywood. Koster's father, a salesman, left home when Henry was a young man. Koster still managed to finish gymnasium (high school) in Berlin while working as short story writer and cartoonist.
Koster was introduced to cinema about 1910 when his uncle opened a very early movie theater in Berlin. Koster's mother played the piano to accompany the films, leaving the young boy to occupy himself by watching the films. After working initially as a short story writer, Koster was subsequently hired by a Berlin movie company as scenarist, became assistant to director Curtis Bernhardt. Bernhardt became sick one day and asked Koster to take over as director. In about 1931 or 1932, Koster directed two or three films in Berlin for UFA.
Koster, who was in the midst of directing a film, had already been the subject of anti-Semitism, and knew he had to leave. He lost his temper at an SA officer at his bank during lunch hour, and knocked the officer out. He went directly to the railroad station and left Germany for France, where he was rehired by Bernhardt...