Klemperer - A life in Germany

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Television series
Original title Klemperer - A life in Germany
Country of production Germany
original language German
year 1999
length 650 minutes
Episodes 12 (with a double sequence)
genre drama
music Andreas Hoge
First broadcast 1999 on Das Erste

Klemperer - A Life in Germany is a twelve-part German television series from 1999. It was directed by Kai Wessel and Andreas Kleinert based on the script by Peter Steinbach .

In its twelve successive parts with a total length of 650 minutes, the series deals with the life of the writer and literary scholar Victor Klemperer during the dictatorship of National Socialism . Klemperer's diaries, which were only published posthumously in the 1990s, were the template for the script , in which he documented the increasing exclusion and disenfranchisement of Jews under the Nazi regime as an everyday experience using the example of himself and his personal environment.


Victor Klemperer, a German of Jewish descent, is a professor at the Technical University of Dresden , but when Hitler came to power he was forbidden to continue teaching at the university. Despite the increasing reprisals , Klemperer tried to get on with his life. Together with his wife , he is sticking to his dream of having his own house. But little by little his property is confiscated and he has to move into a so-called “ Jewish house ”. Klemperer observed the changes due to the influence of the National Socialists in the German language. He writes down his observations in his diaries. Victor Klemperer manages to survive. After the war he published his linguistic observations .


The series was produced by MDR in collaboration with Konken Studios and Studio Babelsberg . The production costs amounted to 20 million DM . The film was shot in Dresden and Prague . The plot of the series follows Victor Klemperer's diaries , which were edited for the film by screenwriter Peter Steinbach . The film plot was changed by Steinbach's fictional episodes.

The television series was classified by the FSK as "12 years and older". It was the first time in 1999 in the First sent. The ARD wanted to reach a mass audience with the series. However, the series only made it to 2.7 million television viewers per episode. Nevertheless, the television production has been broadcast repeatedly in Germany since then. The series was also broadcast in Finland .

In 2000 Dagmar Manzel received the German Television Award for her acting performance in the series .

The series was released on DVD in 2010.

Sequence index

  1. Hurray, I'm alive / The serenity of the heart (double episode)
  2. So i stay
  3. Love, love above all
  4. Kiss me on the bend
  5. The planted sky
  6. Hotel Aviv
  7. Blackout
  8. The day the star rose
  9. To the world we left behind
  10. Believe, love, lie
  11. Before the end of the world
  12. Alone in the world


Nikolaus von Festenberg praised the film adaptation in the Spiegel with the words: ARD translated the diaries of Jewish professor Victor Klemperer about his persecution by the Nazis convincingly into the language of modern television. [...] The twelve Klemperer films are among the great moments of television [...]

But during that time , Andreas Kilb criticized : The “testimony” that the German Jew Klemperer wanted to give of his misery [...] becomes, with Steinbach, a mere partial view in a colorful sheet of pictures from Nazi country. By adopting the perspective of the omniscient narrator, Steinbach cheats us of the individual truth, the voice and the gaze of the diarist Klemperer. This popularization becomes infamy when Steinbach adorns Klemperer's life in order to make it more enjoyable, for example through the professor's affair with a blonde ex-student. Such distortions can no longer be justified by printing the quota. They degrade a unique document of survival under barbarism to another chapter in the long history of junk. […] This series does not bear any testimony. She is just bad.


  • DVD : Klemperer - A life in Germany - Pidax film media Ltd.
  • Music : Klemperer - A Life in Germany - Wci

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Internet Movie Database - Companies involved for Klemperer - A life in Germany
  2. a b Klemperer - A life in Germany on fernsehserien.de
  3. The Internet Movie Database - Filming locations for Klemperer - A life in Germany
  4. See serial lexicon on Kabeleins
  5. See The Internet Movie Database - Start dates for Klemperer - A life in Germany
  6. ^ The Internet Movie Database - Awards for Klemperer - A Life in Germany
  7. ^ Nikolaus von Festenberg: The story of true loyalty . In: Der Spiegel . No. 42 , 1999 ( online ).
  8. Andreas Kilb: Schund - Klemperer or a life on German television . In: Die Zeit , No. 45/1999