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- Location: France
Gérard Jean Brach was born on 23 July 1927 in Montrouge (Seine department). He joined the Waffen-SS in the summer of 1944 at the earliest1. He fought in Pomerania with the "Charlemagne" division, and potentially fought with the Martin battalion in the Danzig pocket.
Suffering from tuberculosis, he had to stay five years in a sanatorium from 1945 to 1950, where he took advantage of the opportunity to read, and met Benjamin Péret, who introduced him to André Breton. Fascinated by surrealism, Brach produced a series of drawings inspired by Lautréamont's "Chants de Maldoror", and took them to a gallery on the Left Bank, which led them astray. His artistic dreams crumbled, he became a production assistant in the 1950s, then press attaché for the Twentieth Century Fox from 1959 to 1962.
He began a career as a screenwriter, after meeting Roman Polanski, for whom he wrote the screenplay for a short film in 1963, thus beginning a regular collaboration with him2 that would last three decades and nine films3. In the early 1970s Brach directed two films: "La Maison" and "Le Bateau sur l'herbe" with Claude Jade and Jean-Pierre Cassel. In 1978, Claude Berri introduced him to Jean-Jacques Annaud, for whom he was the scriptwriter for five films4. Agoraphobe, he hardly left his home from 1978 to 1986. He was also a screenwriter for Claude Berri5 and Roland Joffé6.
He died on September 9, 2006 in the 19th arrondissement of Paris from lung cancer. He is buried in the Montparnasse cemetery (division 10). Jan Kounen dedicates to him (as well as to Tjade Coenen and Claude Petit) his feature film "99 francs".
1 In June 1944 he was still in France (source: correspondence with Eric Lefèvre).
It is not impossible that he arrived at the Waffen-SS via the French Militia .
2 Polanski was aware of his past, and had no trouble with it.
3 Repulsion (1965), Cul-de-sac (1966), Le bal des vampires (1967), What? (1972), Le locataire (1976), Tess (1979), Pirates (1986), Frantic (1988), Lunes de fiel (1992).
4 La guerre du feu (1981), Le nom de la Rose (1986), L'Ours (1988), L'Amant (1992), Sa Majesté Minor (2007).
5 The Old Man and the Child (1967), Jean de Florette (1986), Manon des sources (1986).
6 The City of Joy (1992).
More here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9rard_Brach