Eberhard Fechner

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Eberhard Fechner (born October 21, 1926 in Liegnitz , Silesia , † August 7, 1992 in Hamburg ) was a German actor and director.

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The son of the teacher Paul Fechner and his wife Charlotte geb. After his parents divorced, Sternsdorff grew up with his mother in Berlin. After completing secondary school , he began a commercial apprenticeship in 1943. On March 1, 1944, he was drafted into the war and in April 1945 he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Americans in Krummau .

From 1946 to 1948 he studied at the drama school of the German Theater . On April 3, 1947, he made his debut in the Kammerspiele. In 1948 he was engaged in Bremen, from 1949 to 1952 at the Freie Volksbühne . In 1951 he founded his own theater club. As a guest he played at various theaters in Berlin as well as in Hamburg, Hanover and Celle. From 1961 he worked for two years as an assistant director at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. After 1963 he was back in the Federal Republic and worked as an actor and director in Konstanz, Bremen and Hamburg.

From 1953 Eberhard Fechner also took on roles in film and especially on television. In 1965 he was hired as an editorial assistant at NDR . This gave him the opportunity to make his own films. Documentary film became his specialty . In 1969 there was a gossip against Klara Heydebreck , a meticulous reconstruction of the life of a rather randomly selected woman who had committed suicide in old age. Similarly, meticulously he pursued in class Photo the career of some students of the Lessing-Gymnasium in Berlin 's Wedding district . In 1975 he made his three-hour film Tadellöser & Wolff , and in 1979 he made the six-hour A Chapter for Himself . The novel Die Bertinis was originally supposed to be filmed by Eberhard Fechner in a five-part series, but was then made into a film by Egon Monk in 1988 as a representative for illness .

As a "gifted interviewer" he interviewed the four then still living members of the Comedian Harmonists around 1975 and around 1979-81 for his documentary The Trial, several witnesses and accused of the Majdanek trial . Similar to Claude Lanzmann , he knew how to elicit very personal, controversial and deeply hidden memories of his interview partners through patient listening and asking questions. In addition, he repeatedly took on roles as an actor in television films.

Eberhard Fechner was married to Margot Krell from 1949. In the mid- 1950s Ingrid Fechner became his second wife († 1965). In 1967 he got his third marriage with Jannet Geffken, who assisted him with his films. His grave is in the Riensberg cemetery in the Schwachhausen district of Bremen .


  • 1953: Dangerous Vacation ( The Man Between )
  • 1954: Mrs. Holle
  • 1955: Road junction (TV)
  • 1956: A girl from Flanders
  • 1956: ten years and three days
  • 1957: A day out (TV)
  • 1957: Confessions of the impostor Felix Krull
  • 1962: The Sleep of the Righteous (TV)
  • 1965: one day. Report from a concentration camp (TV)
  • 1965: In the land of plenty (TV)
  • 1966: The Mink (TV series Port Police )
  • 1966: Freedom Prize (TV)
  • 1966: The fairy tale (TV; assistant director)
  • 1967: self-service (TV; script and direction)
  • 1967: Prison (TV)
  • 1967: The persecution and murder of Jean Paul Marat (TV)
  • 1968: Four hours from Elbe 1 (TV; director)
  • 1968: On Obedience (TV)
  • 1969: Ladies Quartet (TV; script and direction)
  • 1969: The window to the garden (TV series On the trail of the perpetrator )
  • 1969: The Failure (TV; script and direction)
  • 1969: peers (TV)
  • 1969: Speech to Klara Heydebreck (TV documentary, script and director)
  • 1970: Gezeiten (TV; script and direction)
  • 1970: class photo (TV documentary; script and direction)
  • 1971: Frankfurter Gold (TV series Tatort )
  • 1971: Two letters to Pospischiel (TV)
  • 1971: Secret Agents (TV; script and direction)
  • 1973: Farmers, Bigwigs and Bombs (TV series)
  • 1973: For a trivial reason (TV; script and direction)
  • 1975: Tadellöser & Wolff (TV film, based on the novel by Walter Kempowski , 2 parts; script and direction)
  • 1976: Biographical facts (TV; script and direction)
  • 1976: The Comedian Harmonists - Six CVs (TV documentary about the Comedian Harmonists , 2 parts; written and directed)
  • 1977: Winterspelt 1944 (feature film based on the novel by Alfred Andersch ; script and direction)
  • 1979: A chapter of its own (TV film, 3 parts; script and direction)
  • 1981: The Knapp Family (TV series, participation in 3 episodes)
  • 1982: The Oppermann siblings (two-part TV series)
  • 1983: The Knapp Family (TV series, participation in 2 episodes)
  • 1984: The Trial (TV documentary about the Majdanek Trial ; written and directed)
  • 1984: Im Damenstift (TV documentary; script and director)
  • 1986: Farewell performance (TV)
  • 1988: La Paloma (TV documentary about the lives of former sailors; script, direction and production)
  • 1988: Oedipussi
  • 1990: Wolfskinder (TV documentary; script, direction and production)




  • Egon Netenjakob: Eberhard Fechner. This century's résumés in film. Berlin: Quadriga 1989.
  • Simone Emmelius: Fechner's method. Studies on his interview films . Gardez! Publisher, 1996.
  • Christian Hißnauer: Hamburg School - Klaus Wildenhahn - Eberhard Fechner. Second generation television documentarism. In: Becker, Andreas R. et al. (Ed.): Media - Discourses - Interpretations. Documentation of the 20th Film and Television Studies Colloquium. Marburg: Schüren-Verlag 2007, pp. 118–126.
  • Christian Hißnauer: Psychomontage and oral history: A sketch on the history of the development of interview documentarism in the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Rundfunk und Geschichte , 1–2 / 2010, pp. 19–25.
  • Christian Hißnauer: Saying out of the Holocaust. Experienced memories in the interview films Eberhard Fechner and the interview films Hans-Dieter Grabes. In: Weber, Thomas et al. (Ed.): Medial Transformations of the Holocaust.
  • Christian Hißnauer, Bernd Schmidt: milestones of television documentarism: the Hamburg schools. Constance: UVK 2013.
  • Jan-Pieter Barbian, Werner Ruzicka (Ed.): Eberhard Fechner - a German narrator . Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8375-1993-8 .
  • Rolf Aurich, Torsten Musial (eds.): Eberhard Fechner. Chronicler of the everyday, television - history - aesthetics (Volume 4) . Deutsche Kinemathek / Akademie der Künste, Edition text + kritik, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-86916-868-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Class photo - a two-part film by Eberhard Fechner. (No longer available online.) In: eberhardfechner.de. Jannet Fechner, archived from the original on October 29, 2008 ; Retrieved February 7, 2009 .
  2. Gunda Bartels: Listening means telling. In: Der Tagesspiegel. November 29, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2019 .