Producer
Director
Sebastian Dehnhardt, Manfred Oldenburg
Editor
Genre
History
Broadcaster
ARD, MDR, ARTE, TVP, History Channel, Historia, Filmstiftung NRW, TVR, SF DRS
Length
1 x 90'
Format
16:9 HDTV
Year
2010
The Chancellor's genuflection
The Two Lives of Willy Brandt

Warsaw, 7 December 1970. German Chancellor Willy Brandt lays a wreath at the memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He plucks the black-red-gold ribbon, takes four steps back and suddenly falls to his knees. He remains like this for about half a minute, then stands up again with a jerk, his face almost motionless, his expression rigid, his gaze directed far into the distance. A picture that goes around the world. An image that makes history.

The genuflection becomes the most important symbol for Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik, with which he wants to reshape the global order, for his struggle for humanity and reconciliation. When he became West German chancellor in 1969, he dared to break a spectacular taboo in the middle of the Cold War. He reached out to the communist governments in the Eastern Bloc. In doing so, he polarised world public opinion like hardly any other politician in German post-war history.

7 December 2010 marks the fortieth anniversary of the world-historical kneeling in Warsaw. On this occasion, BROADVIEW TV, commissioned by MDR and ARTE, takes a precise and moving look "behind the scenes" of Brandt's Ostpolitik and shows the background in a 90-minute HDTV docudrama. The two award-winning authors Sebastian Dehnhardt and Manfred Oldenburg focus on Willy Brandt's personality and his fight for reconciliation and for a more peaceful world - against external and internal opposition. The story covers the period of his chancellorship from 1969 to 1974. Eyewitness interviews with Brandt's closest confidants, political friends, but also opponents allow an unbiased view of his Ostpolitik.

First broadcast: Wed, 1 December 2010, 20:15, ARTE.

The Chancellor's Kneeling - The Two Lives of Willy Brandt

Warsaw, 7 December 1970. German Chancellor Willy Brandt lays a wreath at the memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He plucks the black-red-gold ribbon, takes four steps back and suddenly falls to his knees. He remains like this for about half a minute, then stands up again with a jerk, his face almost motionless, his expression rigid, his gaze directed far into the distance. A picture that goes around the world. An image that makes history.

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