Stories need tellers: witnesses from Flensburg, connected by the history of their own lives, the city, and the world.
Svetlana Krätzschmar, the former city president of Flensburg, moved from the soviet union to the GDR and subsequently to West Germany. Her father told her that WWII did not end with the capitulation on May 8, 1945, in Berlin, but a couple of weeks later in the city of Flensburg with the arrest of the last “Reichsregierung” in the northernmost town of Germany.
Today Svetlana is still astonished how life has gotten her where she is now.
Actress Renate Delfs speaks Petuh at her last performance, a language typical for Flensburg, whose existence came to be due to the unsteady history of Flensburg. It is a mixture of Danish and German.
At the beach, she remembers the crimes of the former German government under the command of General Dönitz. Deserting German soldiers were still executed by firing squad after May 8, because they wished to go home at a time when the war was already over.
Hülya Özdemir immigrated from Turkey to Hamburg with her parents. Today she lives in Flensburg with her family. The language people speak in Flensburg seems outlandish when she ponders about her home country; she doesn’t know whether she feels more German or Turkish. No, not really German, but European.
Rainer Prüß is a graphic designer, musician, architect, and he writes poems in Lower German, a language that he heard a lot in his youth. His story critically references the history of Flensburg.
Anke Spoorendonk is the former state justice and culture minister of Schleswig-Holstein. She is part of the Danish minority. Her parents deliberately decided to join the Danish minority. Her father took part in the German invasion of the USSR, and he did not trust Germany to become democratic. Spoorendonk lives in Flensburg, and she was the first minister of the Danish minority party SSW.
Dr. Imani Tarfari-Ama is a cultural scientist from Jamaica and a descendant of slaves who created an exhibition in the Schifffahrtsmuseum about Flensburg’s involvement in colonialism and slavery. She questions the way the locals deal with the past.
Dr Reinhart from Kaiserslautern is president of Europa-Universität Flensburg. He loves the “Schietwetter” (regional term for bad weather) and promotes the idea of Europe as a guarantee for peace and freedom with his work.
Matthias Weiß is chairman of the Sinti and Roma in Schleswig-Holstein. He speaks both German and Romanes and commemorates his family, which was deported and murdered during Nazi rule in Flensburg. He makes a moving plea against violence and exclusion.
The film opens up spaces to get to know and learn about the protagonists: while they tell their personal stories and memories that connect them to this city, larger events of German and European history suddenly appear: The past is tied to the present
Inspiration: Matthias Bauer, Iulia Patrut
Director and Camera: Quinka Stoehr
Director, Sound and Montage: Fredo Wulf
Produced by: StoehrMedien mit Iulia Patrut und Matthias Bauer