Script Consulting for the TV Documentary "Four Students Against Stalin"
by Steffen Lueddemann and Hanno Bruehl
On behalf of T & G Films, Berlin
On December 20, 1949, Wilhelm Pieck – the president of the GDR – delivered a radio speech on the occasion of Josef Stalin’s seventieth birthday. Four students from Altenburg, Thuringia, decided to use this opportunity to educate the people of the freshly-founded GDR about Stalin being a mass murderer and dictator.
By means of a self-made transmitter they jammed the radio broadcast - an act which had serious consequences. The "Staatssicherheit" (Stasi, GDR secret police) arrested the students and turned them over to the Soviet Military Tribunal. Three of them were sentenced to 25 years in jail. Joachim Naether, the head of the group, was sentenced to death and executed in Moscow.
In collaboration with the survivors, the scriptwriters reconstructed the events of 1949 in their film "Four Students Against Stalin". The film was shot at the original locations. Facts & Files checked the facts of the script to ensure the historical accuracy and offered academic consultation. In respect of content, the documentary is closely connected with the Facts & Files project "Shot in Moscow...".
45 min. documentary, a co-production by T & G Films, Berlin, MDR, WDR, PHOENIX, and 3sat, funded by “Stiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur”.
Shown on TV at MDR, 2005/11/08, 10:00 p.m. and at PHOENIX, 2005/11/09, 8:15 p.m.
Also available on DVD.