28 November 2017

The Akademie der Künste inaugurates the Eberhard Fechner Archive

An event with Gero Ehrhardt, Jeanine Meerapfel, and Martin Wiebel on 1st December at Pariser Platz

The Akademie der Künste will inaugurate the archive of Eberhard Fechner (1926–1992) on 1st December 2017 at an event in Berlin. The archive of the filmmaker and member of the Akademie was taken over in 2016 and has been made accessible in a very short period. 

Eberhard Fechner’s films form a panorama of German history of the last century across all social strata. In his documentaries, he created virtual dialogues from endless hours of interviews, such as in Nachrede auf Klara Heydebreck (1969), Comedian Harmonists (1975/76), and in his most important work, Der Prozeß (1975-84), about the proceeding against those responsible for the Majdanek concentration camp which took place in Düsseldorf from 1975 to 1981. Fechner reconstructed the horror in a concentration camp, and recorded the difficulties of the German judiciary and public in the search for justice. Der Prozeß is a powerful television documentary about Nazi crimes and their prosecution, and one of the most important German films about the Holocaust. His approach to document everyday history, Fechner also adopted in his feature films, such as the adaptations of Walter Kempowski’s Rostock-based family chronicle Tadellöser & Wolff (1974/75) and Ein Kapitel für sich (1978/79). In 1984, Fechner was one of the founding members of the Film and Media Art Section of the Akademie der Künste and was its deputy director until 1992. In 2011, he was honoured with a star on the Boulevard of the Stars at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.  

The Eberhard Fechner Archive encompasses 40 linear metres of shelf space. It includes scripts, photos, production documents, correspondence - comprising several thousand sheets – with Walter Jens, Walter Kempowski, Hardy Krüger, Egon Monk, and Giorgio Strehler, amongst others, as well as over 1,500 hours of audio recordings of the interviews which Fechner conducted for his award-winning documentaries. 

Since the interviews have only to a small part found their way into the films, these recordings have great source value, especially also for research into everyday history. The archive of Eberhard Fechner simultaneously complements many other archives on television history in the Akademie der Künste such as those of Peter Beauvais, Dieter Meichsner, Egon Monk, or Dieter Wedel. 
At https://archiv.adk.de/bigobjekt/39883, the Eberhard Fechner Archive can be researched online and is available for inspection in the reading hall at Robert Koch Platz.  

On the occasion of the inauguration of the archive, film clips and interviews with Fechner will be shown. The cameraman Gero Erhardt and the dramaturge and producer Martin Wiebel will talk about their collaboration with Eberhard Fechner. A welcoming address will be given by the filmmaker and President of the Akademie der Künste, Jeanine Meerapfel. In display cases specially installed for the event, documents from the archive can be viewed. 

Information on the event
Eberhard Fechner. Chronicler of Daily Life
Inauguration of the Archive and Display Case Presentation 
Friday, 1st December 2017, 7 pm, Tickets € 6/4
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Ticket reservations at Tel. 030 20057-1000 or ticket@adk.de  

Press tickets at Tel. 030 20057-1514 or presse@adk.de 

For queries, please contact 
Dr. Torsten Musial, Film and Media Art Archives, Tel. 030 20057–3258, musial@adk.de