compiled & submitted by Christoph-Boris Frank | 1 October 2021
[This article was translated from German. Click on the website language button above to read it in the original.]
I had the opportunity to host the second GESM Campus TV programme with my classmate Julian Paul Janke. Julian hosted the English part of the script while I did the German part. We also played news anchors in between. Julian was a BBC news anchor, I was an ARD news anchor. Hosting this programme allowed me to have a look into the production of a GESM Campus TV programme and what goes into it.
I was also able to see that not everything in the first run-through is as flawless as you see in the final product, as Julian and I would occasionally make promises to each other again. But this also made for a lively atmosphere during the recording. Working with the headmaster and with the school staff was a great honour and privilege for which I am very grateful. I wish GESM Campus TV continued successful and entertaining programmes!
The division between East and West was interesting to me the first time it was mentioned, and the fact that we were now covering this topic was quite fitting. My grandparents all lived in the East, the former GDR. They grew up in a socially controlled Germany, supervised by the Soviet Union (in the Russian CCCP) and I assumed - as most probably did - that they had had a terrible time and all wanted to flee.
It turned out for me that this only affected a few, among them doctors, physicists and other academics, i.e. in summary people from the scientific field, and only this caused the bad conditions.
Irene Leube (my interview partner, a former chemist) had told me that after the fall of the Wall she preferred to stay in East Germany because her children would have it easier there. Irene also said towards the end of the interview that she had enjoyed her life. I conclude from her experiences that the GDR as a whole was not as bad as everyone assumes and as history books portray it.
On the occasion of the Day of German Unity, I had the opportunity to interview the German Ambassador, H.E. Anke Reiffenstuel, for the school. My father was a great help as he took me to the residence and recorded the interview. I asked Mrs. Reiffenstuel about the topics of the German separation and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I found it particularly interesting to hear about this topic from the perspective of a contemporary witness. And hear not only what one knows, but also her very personal opinion about it. It was interesting to me that people only realized the real difference in living conditions between East and West Germany when the Wall was opened, and they had direct access to it. I also found it very impressive when she told about the escape attempts. So the fact that people constructed their own hot-air balloon, for example, just to get across the border, or dug a tunnel under the Wall, really impressed me.
I had the opportunity to host the second GESM campus TV show for the school with my classmate Justin Walter Ith. We also acted as news anchors. I was the BBC news anchor and Justin took on the role of the ARD news anchor. This opportunity taught me a lot. Hosting this show allows me to understand the production of the GESM Campus TV show and the content behind it. I have also learned something about the history of Germany. Not only did I learn about the topic of escaping from the former GDR, but also about how people felt about the time, especially the separation caused by the construction of the Wall. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Frank and Mr. Kitma for their cooperation. It was a great honour and I enjoyed it very much.
The fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the greatest historical events in Germany. We as a class set out to make a video on the subject. This was particularly difficult for us because we had to do everything online. My part of the project was to report on my parents' view of the Berlin Wall. I did an interview with my father for this. Through the interview, I learned a lot of new things about the time of the Berlin Wall. My father was not yet born at the time of the division of Germany, but he experienced the building of the Wall and the fall of the Wall in West Germany. For him, the GDR was a foreign country that didn't influence his life much, because he didn't have any family or friends in the GDR either. My mother was living in Hong Kong at the time and didn't notice much of the whole situation in Germany.
In summary, this project gave me an insight into what was happening in the former GDR and broadened my knowledge of Germany's history. Also, through this experience, I learned how to prepare an interview and how to ask questions so that I can get specific answers about a certain topic.