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The Contemporary Witness Archive Thomas Grimm

On more than 3,500 videotapes with around 1,700 contributions, the collection includes interviews by filmmaker Thomas Grimm with more than 1,000 personalities from politics, culture, science and sport - and provides insights into individual perspectives on the major political events of Germany's recent past, but also on the everyday life of people in divided and reunified Germany.


Thomas Grimm began recording interviews in East Berlin in 1987 and for over 15 years he conducted conversations with personalities from politics, culture, science and sports such as Walter Markov, Wolfgang Harich, Margot Honecker, Hans Modrow, Christa and Gerhard Wolf, Günther Schabowski, Heiner Müller, Richard von Weizäcker, Egon Krenz or Klaus Kinkel. In 1989 Grimm founded the company Zeitzeugen TV, which followed and observed a wide variety of people for films and reports under the motto "Memory as responsibility". This resulted in over 3,000 hours of film material. Parts of this archive were acquired by the DEFA Foundation in 2004 and are kept in the collection "Zeitzeugenarchiv Thomas Grimm" (Contemporary witness archive). It sees itself as an audiovisual source of autobiographical memory and oral history and provides insights into individual perspectives on the great political events of the recent German past, but also on the everyday life of people in a divided and then reunified Germany. It includes over 3,500 videotapes with around 1,700 contributions, interviews with over 1,000 people and reports.

Provenance
DEFA

Production period
1989-2009

Number of films
approx. 1,600

Running time
3-260 min

Material
Digital Beta, Betacam SP | coloured

Topics
Society, politics, interviews, biographies

Filming locations
Germany, Berlin

Browse collection Zeitzeugen-Archiv


width="653"Sosa. Wahlkampf | 1990