Crime scene: the afterlife

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Episode of the series Tatort
Original title The afterlife
Country of production Germany
original language German
RBB , Eikon
classification Episode 1108 ( List )
First broadcast November 10, 2019 on Das Erste
Director Florian Baxmeyer
script Sarah Schnier
production Ernst Ludwig Ganzert
music Boris Bojadzhiev
camera Eva Katharina Bühler
cut Friederike Weymar

The Afterlife is a television film from the crime series Tatort , which first aired on November 10, 2019. It is the 1108th episode in the series and the tenth case of the Berlin team of investigators Rubin and Karow .


At the beginning, three different storylines are developed side by side, which are only brought together towards the end.

1st storyline

An organized gang of thieves assaults an old man in his apartment. This later turns out to be Gerd Böhnke, former judge and Honored Lawyer of the German Democratic Republic .

2nd storyline

Robert Karow only notices the death of his neighbor Friedrich (Fritz) Irrgang when a hearse is in front of the house. The inspector lived next to a corpse for weeks. While Nina Rubin is investigating the thesis “disenfranchisement by murder” and targeting the landlady Olschewski, Karow follows a trace into the deceased's past. Even when they inspect the crime scene, they are divided: While Rubin assumes that Irrgang died without outside interference, Karow notices a few inconsistencies. The apartment door was sealed airtight with a sealing tape and a window was kept open with a wedge; just as if the corpse was about to mummify. The examination of the corpse in the forensic medicine confirms Karow's suspicion that Irrgang was killed: a bullet is found in the back of the head.

3rd storyline

Hajo (Hansjoachim) Holzkamp was commissioned by the landlord Olschewski to clean the apartment, which had become uninhabitable due to the smell of decay and maggot infestation. However, this is not able to do so; not only because it disgusts him, but also because he seems to remember the past. So it is his wife Liz (Elisabeth) who goes to the cleaning.

The End

It turns out that there is a connection between Böhnke, Irrgang and Holzkamp. When Hajo was twelve years old, the then 18-year-old Friedrich Dürr (now Irrgang) murdered the parents and sister of Hajo Holzkamp. Böhnke sentenced Irrgang to death as a judge for three murders. According to forged documents, this judgment was apparently carried out in 1972. In truth, death sentences were not officially carried out at the time due to a membership application by the GDR at the UNO, fake death certificates were issued and the bodies were cremated anonymously. However, Friedrich Dürr's judgment was commuted to life imprisonment. After the fall of the Wall, Friedrich Dürr was released from prison by German judges.

Karow and Rubin learn that Holzkamp and his wife Liz met in psychiatry, where they were both treated for post-traumatic stress disorder . Against medical advice, the two fired themselves. Hajo is apparently still suffering severely from the trauma of the murder of his parents.

Liz presents Hajo with a gun at dinner and confesses to her husband that she shot Irrgang. She did it for him because he would not be able to do it himself. A dispute develops out of the situation, in the course of which Liz stabs her husband several times with a long kitchen knife. When Karow and Rubin arrive, Hajo is lying badly wounded in the hallway. Liz turns the gun on herself at first, but is overpowered by Karow and Rubin.

A few weeks before the murder of Friedrich Irrgang, Böhnke had informed the Holzkamp couple that the convicted murderer Friedrich Dürr now lives under the name Friedrich Irrgang in Berlin. Böhnke got Liz the pistol, a Walther P38. However, since she failed to dispose of the pistol, Karow and Rubin Böhnke are able to convict them with the weapon.

Development of the main characters

Through an indiscretion, Karow accidentally learns that Rubin wants to leave the homicide squad. The reason for her desire for change is apparently that her colleague Harald Stracke, whom she had to shoot in self-defense in the previous episode, The Good Way , is haunted . She has therefore asked to be transferred to the Domestic Violence Unit . In view of the fact that she is Jewish , the authorities came up with the idea of ​​using her in intercultural prevention work instead. This irritates her, as she makes no fuss about her religious affiliation in the service and above all feels like a convinced Berliner. She seeks a conversation with forensic doctor Jamila Marques, who reports that her dark skin color has never really stood in the way of her profession, but that it is repeatedly discussed against her will by colleagues, even if it is in the form of jokes. When Karow speaks to Rubin in his usual gruff manner about her desire for a professional change, it becomes clear in the course of the conversation that he would be very sad to lose her as a partner. She is "the best policewoman I know". The two then give each other a friendly hug.


The film was shot from March 12, 2019 to April 12, 2019.



"After all the dusty Eastern history lessons on public television, after the all too simple spy thriller" Wendezeit "on ARD and the overly didactic three-part" Freedom Prize "on ZDF, the" Tatort "finds a more interesting way to get to know the GDR Regime to deal with. He does this rigorously from the here and now, with cleverly interwoven narrative levels [...] and with characters who only gradually reveal their concerns. "

The film service rated the film with four out of five possible stars and as "worth seeing". It is said to be “remarkably beyond stereotypical (television) crime thriller expectations”, impresses with its “restrained staging” and interlocks its thematic diversity “carefully and cleverly”.

Audience rating

The first broadcast of Life after Death on November 10, 2019 was seen by 8.55 million viewers in Germany and achieved a market share of 24.2% for Das Erste , measured in the age group from 3 years.

Web links

Individual evidence