Joachim Jauer

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Joachim Jauer (* 26. July 1940 in Berlin - Dahlem ) is a German radio - and TV - journalist , documentary filmmaker, lecturer and writer. He became known to a broad public in particular through his work as a television correspondent and head of the ZDF office in the German Democratic Republic and as a chronicler of the revolutionary upheaval of the former Warsaw Pact .

Professional development

RIAS Berlin

After completing school at the Canisius-Kolleg high school in Berlin and then studying classical philology , philosophy and history at the Free University of Berlin , Jauer initially worked as a radio editor and presenter at RIAS Berlin . In 1961/62 he and Hans-Christoph Knebusch developed the RIAS morning magazine “What's New - News and Music in Berlin”, which was conceived as a replacement for a non-existent morning newspaper for listeners in the GDR immediately after the Wall was built.


In 1965 Jauer moved to ZDF. In 1967 he was the first West German correspondent to write a television report in the GDR ("Winterurlaub in Oberwiesenthal"). Even an apparently apolitical leisure topic was a political issue in the GDR. In 1968 he was employed by ZDF as an editor. In the same year Jauer made the first color documentary about the GDR ("Potsdam today", 45 minutes). From 1971, he worked in the editorial department of the ZDF television program registration D with.

From 1978 to 1982 Joachim Jauer headed the ZDF office in the GDR, based in East Berlin, where he was an accredited correspondent. According to the journalistic motto audiatur et altera pars ( Latin: “you can hear the other side too”), he attached great importance to living there, although his status would have allowed him to commute daily from West to East Berlin.

As a West German journalist and class enemy , Jauer was continuously monitored by a large number of employees of the East German Ministry for State Security . In the extensive files, which, according to Joachim Jauer, reveal mostly banalities, but also some human disappointments, he was listed as the OV “Fabulant” of the baggage. A fabulist is a person who fables, that is, reproduces invented stories as truths. Bagage was the Stasi name for the ZDF and was pejorative for rabble / pack.

Following this activity as a correspondent, he took over the editorial management of the ZDF television program Kennzeichen D from Hanns Werner Schwarze , which at the time was located on Oberlandstrasse in Berlin-Tempelhof opposite the UFA film studios (Berliner Union-Film).

From 1984 to 1987 Jauer was employed by ZDF as the capital correspondent and deputy studio manager in Bonn . From 1987 to 1990 he was special correspondent for Central and Eastern Europe and for the Warsaw Pact area and head of the ZDF studio in Vienna . Through the events of the so-called Velvet Revolution , Jauer became a chronicler of the upheaval in the Warsaw Pact states. After his reports on the revolution in Hungary, on May 2, 1989, he was the only West German television correspondent to report on the opening of the Iron Curtain and the dismantling of the Hungarian - Austrian border installations by Hungarian border troops. He formulated what is probably the most momentous comment of his professional career:

“Today the forty-year division of Europe into east and west ends here. This will have unforeseeable consequences - for Europe, for the Germans in the Federal Republic and especially in the GDR. "

- Joachim Jauer : ZDF broadcast today, May 2, 1989, 7 p.m.

In the weeks that followed, an increasing number of young backpackers from the GDR filled the Hungarian capital, Budapest , in order to get a chance to leave for the West - in a way, the initial spark for the entire further development. Jauer described the beginning mass exodus from the GDR from Budapest to Prague to German TV viewers.

He experienced November 9, 1989 in Vienna, where he had just returned from Czechoslovakia . Two days earlier he had reported on television that, after Hungary, Czechoslovakia had opened its borders to the west. In the following weeks he accompanied the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and before Christmas the revolution in Romania.

Looking back, Joachim Jauer sees the decisive turning point in May 2, 1989 in particular, a date whose importance he still does not see as adequately appreciated.

In 1990 he went back to license plate D for five years . From 1995 to 1999 he reported on the wars in Yugoslavia , the official seat was again the Austrian capital. In October 1999 Jauer took over the management of the ZDF capital studio in Berlin. On June 28, 2002 he was retired from this position by ZDF editor-in-chief Nikolaus Brender .

“From the junction of the Cold War blocs to the fall of the Iron Curtain - Joachim Jauer was not far wherever German history was being written. He is a guarantor for journalistic craftsmanship and the art of formulation. ZDF and its viewers cannot and will not do without him in the future either. "

- Nikolaus Brender , ZDF editor-in-chief : June 28, 2002

From 2002 to 2007 Jauer was active as a documentary filmmaker. In 2004, on the occasion of the award of the extraordinary International Charlemagne Prize to John Paul II. Joachim Jauer's documentary “One of us”, which dealt with the political work of this Pope . In January 2006, a portrait of Johannes Rau von Jauer and Bernd Mosebach was shown on ZDF . In 2007, Jauer's documentary "Antenne West - Das Fernsehen und die deutsche Einheit" was shown in the ZDF series History .

Academies and colleges

At the beginning of the 1970s, Jauer was a lecturer at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin . During a later lectureship at the University of Television and Film Munich , his students were involved in the research, shooting, editing, writing and moderating a complete magazine program. In the 1980s and 1990s, he lectured at the Institute for Journalism in the Communication Studies department at the Free University of Berlin and guided students in several television laboratories to work independently on film projects. All of his lectureships focused on the priority level of medium-term topicality on television.


In 2009, Joachim Jauer published on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the wall opening his book "Urbi et Gorby - Christians at the forefront of change". In it he describes how the Polish Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła) initiated the turning point with the Polish trade union movement Solidarność at the beginning of the 1980s and how the Soviet Communist Party Secretary General Gorbachev later allowed further developments up to the opening of the Iron Curtain. The author goes into detail about the significant preparatory work that Poles, Hungarians and individual Christians have done with great courage in order to ultimately lead to the total collapse of the SED regime. Joachim Jauer is a member of the PEN Center Germany .


In the context of his editorial and at times managerial work for the editorial team of the ZDF series “Kennzeichen D”, Jauer and his colleagues received the German Critics' Prize (1977), the Gustav Heinemann Citizens Prize for Services to Freedom and Justice (1978), the Carl -von-Ossietzky-Medal for the commitment to the realization of human rights (1992), the Jakob-Kaiser-Preis for excellent television programs and reports (1983) as well as the golden camera for credibility in television (1999).


  • Peter Voss (Ed.): Today Diary 1991 . With an article by Joachim Jauer, Zeitgeist Verlag, Düsseldorf 1991, ISBN 3-926224-25-8 .
  • Dieter Zimmer (ed.): Dramatic moments . With an essay by Joachim Jauer. Econ, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-421-06637-X .
  • Joachim Heise, Marianne Regensburger (Ed.): Comments on the time: 1950–2000 . With a comment by Joachim Jauer. Verlag am Park, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89793-094-3 .
  • Joachim Jauer: A flawless autocrat , review of the book Der Kalte Krieg des Kremlin by Edward Lucas, Deutschlandradio Kultur, March 2, 2008.
  • Joachim Jauer: Fall of Man in Times of Dictatorship. Review of the book Forced Labor and the Catholic Church 1939–1945 by Karl-Joseph Hummel / Christoph Kösters (eds.), Deutschlandradio Kultur, June 8, 2008.
  • Joachim Jauer: The story of Eugenio Pacelli , review of the book Pope & Devil. The archives of the Vatican and the Third Reich by Hubert Wolf, Deutschlandradio Kultur, August 31, 2008.
  • Joachim Jauer: Remedies against Ostalgie , review of the book Der Tolerated Klassenfeind by Peter Pragal, Deutschlandradio Kultur, October 12, 2008.
  • Joachim Jauer: With faith that can hardly be shaken , review of the book And we were there. The revolution that came out of the church by Christian Führer, Deutschlandradio Kultur, March 1st, 2009.
  • Joachim Jauer: Urbi et Gorbi - Christians as pioneers of the turning point , Herder, Freiburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-451-32253-2 .
  • Joachim Jauer: Identifier D. Peaceful detours to German unity. Camino, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-460-50001-3 , [1] .

Audio on demand

Video on demand

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Frank Junghänel: Joachim Jauer was a GDR correspondent and is the ZDF studio manager in Berlin. Now he is being adopted. The man from over there. In: Berliner Zeitung . June 22, 2002, accessed April 13, 2019.
  2. Read for us: Joachim Jauer. In: Berliner Zeitung. 17th September 1994.
  3. ^ ZDF broadcast today, May 2, 1989, 7 p.m. In: .
  4. Change of staff at the ZDF regional studio in Berlin / Susanne Gelhard follows Joachim Jauer as studio manager. In: .
  5. ^ Frust und Halleluja, ZDF film portrait of two unequal cities in the east. In: .
  6. One of us. In: .
  7. The enemy headquarters: ZDF targeted by the State Security. In: .
  8. ^ Joachim Jauer, author profile. Title by Joachim Jauer. In: August 2, 2012, archived from the original on August 2, 2012 ; accessed on April 12, 2019 .