Between the lagoon and Cape Horn – the great odyssey of a small boy from East Prussia
60 Min., BR 2010
A small, nameless boy dances around a camp fire where wild Russian army blokes are camping out in the
East Prussian Trakehnen in early 1945. They call him “Nemec,” or “German,” and he serves them vodka. The Red Army soldiers, who have killed his family,
parents, and beloved sister, leave the boy scot-free. As an old man, Dietmar Grassmuck finds an officer’s hat in the attic that he wore for a long time while serving the Russians.
He is close to crying. Dietmar Grassmuck doesn’t know the hour or day of his birth.
Nonetheless, his will to live has not been broken: he is learning Russian and getting his master’s certificate in order to sail on the Gorch Fock to Cape Horn.
Under the new masters in the “Soviet Zone” and the GDR, he rises to the position of interpreter and appraiser, one who knows how to move safely on the smooth parquet
of diplomacy between St. Petersburg and Berlin when it comes to questions of restitution of stolen cultural artifacts.
The guiding theme of this life journey is the heroism of the small man who succeeds in holding onto himself on the water despite all the adversity and losses.
With the use of documentary materials from the first-hand point-of-view of a contemporary witness, the feature shows an exciting picture of an era with
many previously-unknown details: the arc spans from the traumatic end of the war to the Russian control in East Germany and the rebuilding of the GDR to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The documentation also tells about a fascinating land that is hardly known in the West anymore: East Prussia.
A radio program by Anja Krug-Metzinger
poems: Detlev Wilhelm Klee
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