Klaus Wischnewski

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Klaus Wischnewski (born December 11, 1928 in Kolberg ; † April 30, 2003 in Berlin ) pseudonym Peter Ahrens was a German dramaturge , chief dramaturge of the DEFA feature film studio in the GDR , screenwriter and film critic .


From 1945 Wischnewski attended the Goethe High School at Schwerin Pfaffenteich , where he graduated from high school . From 1949 to 1953 he studied cultural politics and journalism in Leipzig and at the German Theater Institute in Weimar- Belvedere. In 1953 Wischnewski earned a degree in theater studies . From 1953 to 1958, he worked as a dramaturge and assistant director at the Maxim Gorki Theater in East Berlin . From 1956 he was also a freelance critic and author on the subject of theater and film. In 1958 Wischnewski moved to the VEB DEFA studio for feature films in Potsdam-Babelsberg as a dramaturge . When the artistic working groups were founded in DEFA, he became a member of the “Berlin” group in 1959. In the same year he became deputy chief dramaturge, the following year chief dramaturge.

In 1960 he set in motion - together with the newly appointed studio director Jochen Mückenberger , the deputy minister of culture Günter Witt and the new party secretary of the studio Werner Kühn - a fundamental reform and democratization of the studio. In 1964 the position of chief dramaturge was abolished in connection with the dismantling of centralism in the feature film studio. From 1965 to 1966 Wischnewski became head of the artistic working group "Heinrich Greif", in which the films " Spur der Steine" (director: Frank Beyer ), Fräulein Schmetterling (director: Kurt Barthel ), Berlin, were banned after the 11th plenum of the SED Central Committee die Ecke (director: Gerhard Klein ), Karla (director: Herrmann Zschoche ) and just don't think I'm crying (director: Frank Vogel ).

Wischnewski was dismissed in 1966 for responsible involvement in several films that were banned in connection with the 11th plenary session. Despite the Berlin ban imposed on him, he became a dramaturge at the Deutsches Theater in East Berlin from 1967 to 1976 . In 1971 Wischnewski began to write film reviews again under the pseudonym Peter Ahrens . From 1976 to 1984 Wischnewski was chief dramaturge at the Deutsches Theater. In 1983 he became a member of the PEN center of the GDR. From 1984 to 1991 he worked as an author and dramaturge in the DEFA documentary film studio . In the years 1989 and 1990 he made the documentary give up or start over about his friend, the former director and dramaturge of DEFA, Walter Janka . From 1991 to 1993 he was program director of the Leipzig Documentary and Short Film Week .

Until his death he was married to the dramaturge and former head of the radio play department at the State Committee for Broadcasting of the GDR (1977–1990) Christa Vetter , whom he had already met while studying in Weimar. Klaus Wischnewski died on April 30, 2003 at the age of 74 and is buried in the French cemetery in Berlin.



  • 1974: Ulrich Plenzdorf : The legend of Paul & Paula / The new sorrows of the young W. - a cinema and a stage play , with an afterword by Klaus Wischnewski, Henschelverlag Berlin
  • 1978: Ulrich Plenzdorf: Karla / The old man, the horse, the street. Texts for films , with an afterword by Klaus Wischnewski, Henschelverlag Berlin
  • 1981: Gerhard Stuchlik: Evidence of friendship, love and community , written down from tape protocols, with an afterword by Klaus Wischnewski, Tribüne-Verlag Berlin
  • 1985: Konrad Wolf / Barbara Köppe : self-testimonials, photos, documents , picture-text documentation, with an essay by Klaus Wischnewski, Henschelverlag Berlin / Verlag Das Europäische Buch, West Berlin
  • 1994: Ralf Schenk : The second life of the film city Babelsberg: DEFA feature films 1946 - 1992 , co-author, Henschelverlag Berlin
  • 1995: Ralf Schenk: In front of the camera: fifty actors in Babelsberg , co-author, Henschelverlag Berlin
  • 2008: Klaus Wischnewski, d. i. Peter Ahrens: Disturbing far and near - film reviews in the weekly magazine " Die Weltbühne " , manuscript printing, DEFA Foundation, Berlin

Individual evidence

  1. Biography on the portal of the Filmmuseum Potsdam
  2. Biographical information from the manual "Who was who in the GDR?": Klaus Wischnewski. Retrieved December 26, 2018 .

Web links