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Über Leben in Demmin

Hundreds of Demmin residents killed themselves in 1945 due to their fear of the Russians. The topic could not be discussed in the GDR, today it is used as propaganda by fascists.


The days of war in Demmin must have been an apocalyptic nightmare. Hundreds of people took their own life and their children‘s too between April 30th and May 4th 1945, some of them before the Russian army conquered the city. Over 600 people were buried in mass graves after the Russian army withdrew. Numerous women were raped, the city was set on fire and pillaged. Neo-Nazi groups organize a “commemoration march“ in Demmin every year that is accompanied by counter-demonstrators and several hundred members of the police. Filmmaker Martin Farkas spoke with living witnesses and young people from Demmin. The old people start off talking about the events with hesitation as they all experienced something horrifying. Parents dragged their children to attics and poisoned them or tied themselves to them and drowned themselves in the Peene river. Some of the interviewed survivors survived because their older siblings fled with them at the right time. The topic couldn‘t be discussed during the GDR, today it is used as propaganda by fascists. The older residents shake their heads in despair: “now they‘re starting again.“ Martin Farkas also speaks to a young neo-Nazi couple who are angry about being “labeled“ as Nazis, everyday radical right-wingers like a baker who is very careful with what he says in front of the camera, and a furniture restorer who likes to be alone, loathes Nazis, and has found a personal survival strategy in this society. ÜBER LEBEN IN DEMMIN is a film about silence that can breed new demons, about old and new nightmares.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland 2017, 90 min
Genre: Documentary, Sociological Film
Director: Martin Farkas
Author: Jens Stubenrauch, Petra Felber, Barbara Denz, Martin Farkas
DOP: Roman Schauerte
Montage: Jörg Hauschild, Catrin Vogt
Music: Mathis Nitschke
Distributor: Salzgeber & Co. Medien GmbH
FSK: 12
Release: 22.03.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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