I was watching the movie X-Men first class and I was watching the scene where Fassbender's character was in Argentina. Here is the script that I was able to extract from youtube slow play and searching online:

Magneto: Deutsches Bier
Bar guy: Klaro
Pig farmer: Ja ist Bitburger, schmeckt gut ne? Hahahaha
Magneto: Das Beste. Was hat Sie nach Argentinien verschlagen?
Pig farmer: Och... das Klima. Ich bin Schweinebauer. Hahahaha
Tailor: Ich bin Schneider... schon seit meiner Kindheit. Mein Vater hat die schönsten Anzüge Düsseldorfs gemacht.
Magneto: Meine Eltern kamen aus Düsseldorf.
Tailor: Wie ist der Name?
Magneto: Sie hatten keinen Namen. Ihr Name wurde ihnen weggenommen. Schweinebauern und Schneider. Blut und Ehre, ja, was würden Sie gerne zuerst verlieren?
Pig farmer: Wir hatten unsere Befehle.
Magneto: Also Blut...

I am able to identify the help verb and sentence structure of all the lines except for this one: Ihr Name wurde ihnen weggenommen. To me the subject is Ihr name and I can't seem to find any resources where the verb wegnehmen uses a wurde without haben as the helper verb. Can someone explain why its not Ihr Name hat ihnen weggenommen?

  • See wiktionary for full conjugation table.
    – guidot
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


That's passive voice, past tense.

Ihr Name wurde ihnen weggenommen.

Their name was taken away from them.

However, it's a rough translation into German. German speakers (as Magneto is, obviously) would simply say

Ihr Name wurde ihnen genommen.

as this is the usual expression for items of honor, as the own name, memories, and such.

(The background is the number tattoos of the KZ inmates. They were punished for using their names instead of these numbers.)

  • So is wegnehmen used more for physical objects and nehmen more for abstract objects such as name and memories?
    – mjl007
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 21:22
  • Both wegnehmen and nehmen may be used for physical objects. Wegnehmen means by force then. Nimm doch bitte noch ein Stück Kuchen. It's an exaggeration to apply this to your name, your memories, even to your breath. For these cases, nehmen already connotates violence. Das Feuer nimmt mir den Atem.
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 21:43

The phrase Ihr Name wurde ihnen weggenommen translates to the English Their name was taken from them. Ihr Name refers to the name of the parents he is talking about.

The reason for conjugating with wurde instead of haben is because this sentence stands in passive form, just like in the English translation.

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