Ontelly

1989: A German Story - The Sad Death of Mack the Knife


Series in which German programme-makers reflect and report on aspects of the country that rarely, if ever, find their way into the British media. Helmut Kopetzky tells the story of East German actor Wolf Kaiser. At the Berliner Ensemble theatre, Kaiser played Mack the Knife in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera. He was perhaps the GDR's biggest star on film and TV; he had a fortune and a mantlepiece full of awards and state honours, including the GDR's gold Patriotic Order of Merit. But in October 1992, Kaiser jumped to his death from his Berlin apartment window. Helmut Kopetzky, who had a few days earlier conducted a long and searching interview with Kaiser, uncovered a story of a man raised and feted by the communist regime who suddenly found himself utterly out of joint with society. Now in his late 60s and still a prolific 'author' (as the Germans describe producer/presenters), Kopetzky is the doyen of German radio feature-makers, the winner of several Prix Italia and Prix Europa and Premios Ondas top international awards for documentary.

Broadcasts

  • 2009-11-10 11:00:00 - 2009-11-10 11:30:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,