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AKAlytics News

Neue Film Dreharbeiten Juli 2024

Regisseur Thomas Claus blickt in neuer Doku hinter Fassaden unserer Geschichte 

Neue Blickwinkel, unbekannte Fakten und bewegende Schicksale stehen in den Filmen des Frankfurter Regisseurs im Mittelpunkt. AKAlytics freut sich an der neuesten filmischen Entdeckungsreise mitwirken zu können. 

Anhand von Zeitzeugen und akribisch recherchierten, historischen Quellen beleuchtet die Dokumentation von Thomas Claus die aufregende Geschichte eines fast unscheinbaren Gefängnisbaus im Herzen der Stadt Halle (Saale). Produziert wird der Film u.a. vom Landesamt für Denkmalpflege in Sachsen-Anhalt. 

Drehteam vor dem Roten Ochsen; Tonmann, Alexander K. Ammer, Produzentin Frau Emmerling, Regisseur Thomas Claus und Kameramann (vlnr.)

Der heutige Sitz des Landesamtes befindet sich genau in jenem Gebäude, unweit des Marktplatzes, welches über Jahrzehnte das Leben vieler unschuldiger Menschen unschön prägte oder für immer veränderte. 1953 diente das Gebäude als Untersuchungsgefängnis und Haftanstalt für Frauen. 

Am 17. Juni 1953 ereigneten sich vor und in diesem Frauengefängnis, an dem heute nichts an die bewegenden Heldinnen und Helden unserer Vergangenheit erinnert, wahrhaft großartige Stunden der Hoffnung. Gegen 17 Uhr am 17. Juni 1953 ließ eine weise Gefängnisführung, nach Protesten von hunderten Angehörigen, Studenten und Streikenden, alle Insassen frei - friedlich. Der Kameramann Albert Ammer und seine Assistentin bannten diese für die DDR und die gesamte deutsche Geschichte einzigartige Befreiung der Frauen auf Film. 

In der neuen Produktion folge ich den Spuren der erhaltenen Einzelbildern jener Ereignisse und präsentiere genaue Blicke in die Gesichter der befreiten Frauen. Jedes Standbild bildet ein historisches Dokument für Momente von unglaublicher Zuversicht und aufwühlender Freude.

Am 17. Juni 1953, am Tor des Frauengefängnisses an der kleinen Steinstraße, rannten junge, von der DDR inhaftierte Frauen mit lächelnden Gesichtern in die Freiheit. Frauen im besten Alter schleppen sich von den Haftbedingungen in der DDR zum Teil auf andere Frauen gestützt durch das Tor in die Freiheit. Manche brechen vor Erschöpfung und Schwäche zusammen. Die zumeist jungen DemonstrantInnen helfen ihnen.

Alexander K. Ammer im Interview mit Filmemacher Thomas Claus zur Befreiung der gefangenen Frauen aus dem Gefängnis in Halle am 17. Juni 1953

Wege in die Freiheit

Im Gespräch berichte ich von der unglaublichen Historie der über 40 Jahre verschollenen Filmaufnahmen und dem mühsamen Weg der erhaltenen Einzelbilder in die Öffentlichkeit. Bis heute zählen die Aufnahmen von den hunderten befreiten Frauen zu den unbekanntesten Bildern vom 17. Juni 1953. 

Dabei handelt es sich um ein großartiges historisches Ereignis, welches darauf zu entdecken ist: Die einzige erfolgreiche, komplette Gefängnisbefreiung in der DDR.

Ein Ereignis von wahrhaft großer historischer Wichtigkeit. Friedliche DemonstrantInnen verhalfen unschuldig inhaftierten Frauen zum glücklichen "Weg in die Freiheit". Welch ein denkwürdiges Ereignis und der Beweis, dass sich Mut, Hoffnung und der Einsatz für Gerechtigkeit lohnen!

Endlich wird diesen HeldInnen von 1953 eine Würdigung zuteil. Am 17. Juni 1953 triumphierten vor dem Gefängnis an der kleinen Steinstraße Zuversicht und Zusammenhalt vieler BürgerInnen. Die Aufnahmen des Kamerateams Albert Ammer beweisen die Kraft friedlicher Demonstration. Mutige Menschen können Großes bewegen und Geschichte neu schreiben. Der Weg in die Freiheit der über 250 befreiten Frauen aus den Fängen der DDR-Macht bleibt unvergessen. Dank an das Filmteam von Thomas Claus. Die Filmpremiere ist für Ende 2024 in Halle geplant. Viel Erfolg! 

"Inbetween worlds" exhibition
prolonged until January 25th 2024

Photo exhibition in Halle (S.)

The Red Ox memorial prolonged the special show with works by Albert Ammer.
 
The special exhibit displays (in parts) never seen before photographs by Albert Ammer. Portraits include spectacular portraits of East-German miners at Mansfeld region. These pictures were taken 1.000 metres underneath the surface, directly at the miner's work places. The pictures are from 1952 and exhibit rare glances into the tough mining work in the 50s. Due to Ammer's imprisonment, these photographs have never been presented before to the public. The photos were taken during filming of a DEFA documentary. The documentary "Brigarde Trinks" was completed just weeks before the June 17th uprising and Ammer received the most prestigous film award by East German government for his film camera work. 

Alexander K. Ammer prestents his novel "Alberts Bilder bleiben" in Red Ox memorial

The exhibition is presented in former prison cells of Red Ox. Its great news that the exhibition was prolonged until end of January 2024. It is a unique and fascinating opportunity to learn more on June 17th 1953 at the exact location where cameraman Albert Ammer was wrongfully imprisonned from 1953 until 1955.


Opening hours
Monday, Friday: 10am to 2pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10am to 4pm


Weekend opening 
(Saturday and Sunday) in December: 2nd and 3rd of December from 1pm to 5pm
Weekend opening (Saturday and Sunday) in January: 6th and 7th of January from 1pm to 5pm


Free entry!
 

Exhibition of photographs by Albert Ammer 2023 (1941 to 1953)
Exhibition curated by Alexander K. Ammer 2023

Meet the author

Hope and freedom for half a day

 

At the museum for city history Dessau, presenting excerpts from my novel "Alberts Bilder bleiben"

Somewhat forgotten events of European dimensions were newly discovered.

 

I presented original film sequences from June 17th 1953. Just very few hours changed the lives of millions of East German people forever - and the future of not only my parents. 

Alexander K. Ammer in Dessau

More than 50 years the pictures from the uprising and protests in Halle (S.) on June 17th 1953 were locked away in "top secret" files of the former security forces of the GDR ("Stasi-files"). Today, the demonstrators greet us with their smiles and their jubilant actions, as those were filmed by Albert Ammer. During the "meet & greet" event, I read excerpts from my book and explained details which are engraved in the pictures from June 17th.

For hundred of thousands of people, June 17th 1953 started as a day of joy and great hopes for the future. The demonstrators felt that they might put a spin on history and that they could ignite more democracy. My parents acted as professional film makers, putting the events forever on film. They documented "half a day of happiness" and the end of all dreams as the communist regime and Soviet tanks crushed protests and hopes. 

The museum team headed by Mrs Clara Backhaus welcomed all guests and enjoyed a standing room only event. Visitors provided positive feedback and congatulated on an insightful lecture and interaction.

 

Dessau-Rosslau, Museum for city history, October 5th, 2023. 

Meet & greet on history

Alexander K. Ammer with high-school class

High school class from Halle during insights-day at Red Ox memorial with leadership team of memorial Mr Viebig and Mr Poppe, teacher Mrs Zierke and Alexander K. Ammer

Several students had the opportunity to change class rooms with a real live experience. The Red Ox memorial invited the students to explore biographies of people wrongfully improsoned after June 17th 1953. In a meet & greet I presented my personal family story on how the Red Ox changed the lives of my parents forever. I revealed how just filming can be life-threatening under injust regimes. 

The students from high schools and aprentices on professional training asked many questions and rewarded me with thankful applause.

A great interaction which turned history into real-life stories. 

Headline-making exhibition
"Inbetween worlds:
Albert Ammer" 
at memorial Red Ox

Alexander K. Ammer mit Crew der Tagesthemen am 17. Juni 2023 im Roten Ochsen in Halle (S.)

German TV news journalist Markus Spieker
and his crew at the opening of the
exhibition on June 17th, 2023.

Promoting the exhibition opening: Expert talk with head of the Red Ox memorial Michael Viebig for regional TV news on June 16th 2023

Alexander K. Ammer in exhibition, Red Ox memorial, Halle
Alexander K. Ammer  in regional TV-news
Alexander K. Ammer in regional TV

Regional TV-news June 16th 2023

In cooperation with the leadership team of the memorial Red Ox in Halle (S.), I opened a special exhibition with film pictures and photograhs. It was a great honor that German national TV news reported about this event. 
Here link to the TV news (in German).  

The exhibition presents insights into the professional works of Albert Ammer from 1941 until 1953 (film & photography).  On June 17th 1953 he filmed directly in front of the walls of the prison. Those film pictures take center stage in the exhibit. In addition his film work from this day is put into context to previous photograhies. Some of the pictures are show to the public for the first time ever. This exhibition, curated by the historians of the memorial, is a corner stone in the recognition for the professional achievements of Albert Ammer. The newly published novel about Albert Ammer's live provides additional details, facts and insights. The regional newspapers reported on Albert Ammer's key role in documenting "what really happened" on June 17th 1953 in the city of Halle (S.). See newspaper article here (in German).  

A very special thanks go to the Red Ox memorial team to displaying the pictures of mine workers from "Mansfeld" region from 1952. These photography are presented for the first time in 70 years. The protrayals of miners were taken deep in the mine, some 800-1,000 metres below surface. In 1952 Ammer was filming a documentary on mining, which actually won him one of the most prestigous award in the GDR for cinema works. The final film is called "Brigarde Trinks" and was even shown in a revival on Berlin Film Festival 2005. 

 

Main focus of the exhibit lies on the spectacular film pictures from June 17th 1953 in Halle (S.). It is also the first time that those pictures are displayed in chronological order which allows for a hourly reconstruction of the peaceful protests and the uprising events in the city. Just hours after the cameraman filmed demonstrators infront of Red Ox prison, he was himself into a prison cell at the exact same location. Already in the morning of June 18th 1953 Albert Ammer was imprisonned in a basement cell at Red Ox prison. He would be locked up for more than three years. Filming the demonstrators cry for freedom, destroyed his live. The communist regime turned Ammer into an enemy of state. The unjust verdict on Ammer from 1953 was officially revoked 1991.

The exhibition also shows personal items of Albert Ammer. Among those are his original identification card from DEFA film studios (which seems stil valid...) and one of his smoke pipes. Another highlight presents the film camera owned by Albert Ammer. It is a heavy ARRI ST 16 from the 1960s. The revolving lenses are almost identical to that camera that was used on June 17th 1953. That 35mm ARRI film camera was also owned by Ammer, but was soon after June 17th confiscated by the communist security forces (and is still missing today). It is a very special experience to see the original pictures and learn about the facts at the same location that Albert Ammer and many other innocent people became victims of the communist regime.

Many thanks to the historian team of Red Ox memorial (Halle, S.).

 

The exhibition was prolonged until January 25th, 2024.  

My personal invitation to the special exhibition at Red Ox - featuring details on the bloody battle between protesters and East German security forces directly infront of the Red Ox gate on June 17th 2023.

Book presentation in Halle (S.)

City of Halle unveils art project with picture on stairs (picture by Albert Ammer)

Project makers and supporters on the scene: (from right to left):

CEO of memorial Red Ox Mr Viebig, Author Alexander K. Ammer, City council member Mrs Marquardt phd., Head of historic association Mrs Kupke, initiator Mrs Uhl, association membert Mr Schuster und June 17th eye witness Mr Fischer. 

On the day of the first presentation of my novel and bio-bool "Alberts Bilder blieben", the city of Halle invited to a "meet & greet" to historic grounds. 

At the exact location, where on June 17th 1953 maybe 100,000 people demonstrated for change and more democracy a special event was held. The representative of the City of Halle, the head of the Rex Ox Memorial and the lead of a local association for rememberance and I, unveiled a picture of Albert Ammer from June 17th protesters put on a big stair case.

The picture is clearly visible for all visitors and an online link next to the stairs offer more insights into the picture and the events in June 1953. 

The stair case is turned into a new attraction for downtown Halle (S.). The picture displays the happily into camera waving Herbert Gohlke. The protesters from yesterday greet today's visitors. Great stuff and great story! 

Local newspapers and online portals reported on the unveiling and honored this event.

Good news: the special event also attracted students and one of them had decided to make June 17th 1953 in this city her topic for a school research paper.

The stair case will display Albert Ammer's picture until end of August 2023. It is worth a visit! Thank you very much to all who banded together to make it happen! 

This big display proves: history can be an eye-catcher. 

@ARD-History:
"Aufstand der Frauen (1953)"

The film maker Sabine Michel invited me to be part in her TV-documentary about June 17th 1953. The modern film crew with Anne Misselwitz spent several hours with me in a studio in Berlin. The TV documentary was broadcast on June 12th 2023 on national German TV.

Here more info on the documentary with comments by the director and a jointly selected picture from the film of June 17th. 

Shooting German TV documentary:
"Women of June 17th 1953"

Camera woman Anne Misselwitz, film director Sabine Michel and Alexander K. Ammer in the film studio in front of green-screen with original ARRI 16 ST camera. 

Alexander K. Ammer and film maker Sabine Michel during film shoot

My original 16mm film camera took center stage. This ARRI ST model is similar to the ARRIFLEX which was used by Albert Ammer to film the uprising in June 1953. 

Albert Ammer's film camera from 1953 was confiscated by security police and is still missing.  

The younger 16mm model offers a glimpse into the tough work of filming in the 1950s.

Sabine Michel's documentary is being produced for German national TV ARD and focuses on women during June 17th 1953. 

The documentary will be available online at ARD-Mediathek throughout 2024. 

I congratulate Sabine Michel on chosing a great theme and for including myself in the production.  

Film camera ARRI 16 ST - made of steel.

Still operational modell from 1960 years. Original with 3-lens-revolving mechanism and characteristic bantling. Changeable film cassette on top, fixed on historic and wooden tripod and connected to acid-battery.

This camera is similar to the types used in the 1930s to 1950s for German Cinema News. 
Albert Ammers 35mm ARRIFLEX camera was used to shoot the film during the uprising in June 17th 1953.

Albert Ammer's ARRI ST film camera

@ZDF Terra X:
"Fünf Anläufe zur Demokratie"

In March 2023 a great collaboration started with a TV team from German National TV (ZDF). A new and original episode on history-documentary "Terra X" features the story of my father and his camera work on June 17th 1953. Some of the presented pictures are shown for the first time in 70 years! 

Cameramann Albert Ammer 1950 with pipe

The TV team decided to recreate "mini-film-sequences" built from single pictures, since the original film material is still today missing. For the first time, the documentary will display "running footage" from Albert Ammers film material. The ambitous 90-minute project puts June 17th 1953 in context for Germany's 150 year long struggle for more democracy, which finally emerges in 1989 in the re-unified Germany. The film starts in the year 1840 and reports on "five efforts towards democracy" in 150 years. Starting in minute 59 the well-known TV-presenter and historian Mirko Drotschmann presents the story of Albert Ammer and his film pictures from June 17th 1953. 

AKAlytics thanks German TV team of Terra X production. The 90-minute TV-documentary "Battle for freedom" is available on ZDF-Mediathek. Promotional news (in German) here

 

More informations online ZDF (news info): here.
 

MDR Podcast

MDR Podcast featuring Alexander K. Ammer

Radio journalist Pierre Gehmlich discovering historic details on market square Halle.

Alexander K. Ammer during taping of podcast

Radio interview infront of former prison Red Ox in Halle (Saale): Journalist Björn Menzel in action.

Radio maker Björn Menzel and Pierre Gehmlich recorded an original podcast with me on May 9th 2023. 

In downtown Halle we followed the dramatic events from June 17th 1953 as those were documented by Albert Ammer.

Interviews took place on central locations: Red Ox memorial, former building of the women prison, and central market square.

Podcast is available on MDR and ARD Mediathek

Videos live

Forbidden pictures our history: At original locations, I present film documents showing courage, power of freedom and optimism. 
More than 70 years ago hundred of thousands, propably more than a million people protested against the East-German communist regime. 

 
Indeed, positive events during the cold war exist. These events may in parts even serve as role models for rightous people and civil rights fights.  
Thousands of East Germans displayed their longing for more freedom and publicly showed courage to protest against a brutal regime. June 17th 1953 is a milestone for European freedom and the fight against communist rule.
 
Four video clips tell "long forgotten" stories of women and men who inspire and ignite confidence into the future. They show what it means to fight for human rights and a fair and just democracy.  

Here link zu the 4 clips.

More info on the historic events in the city of Halle on this webpage and here forbidden pictures.

Underneath the clip with peaceful demonstrators on central market square - check out the many young women!

Time capsule in Munich Giesing - revisted

Explore the time capsule! Artist Miriam Worek landed an interactive time machine in Munich Giesing. Its not a  spacecraft, but a former yellow phone booth. 

Alexander K. Ammer at art project "time capsule Munich"

An iconic yellow phone booth (only known to the "old guys") was turned into an art-project and performance-item by a young artist from Munich. She transformed a not-so-beautiful and busy traffic intersection in Munich-Giesing into a place for discovery and surprise.

Tomorrow, nowadays and yesterday are all part of the 3-D city-history experience. Many artists, people from Giesing and film makers joined forces to create the art project. The result is called "time-capsule". Just enter the phone booth and you can dive into Giesings past, presence or future. 

My documentary "Über Giesing" (Above and about Giesing) produced with my co-directors Walter Wehmeyer und Quang Bobrowski is part of the art project. The 30 year old film documentary can be watched in full-length on the monitor in the time-capsule. It is great to see our film experiencing another revival!

Documentary "Above Giesing" within time capsule 2023

Alexander K. Ammer 1990 on Munich rooftops, interviewing a cheemney sweep - inside of time capsule

Our award-winning documentary - after 30 years rediscovered in Munich! The timelessness of the film is striking. Many topics from 30 years ago seem today more relevant than ever... "Above Giesing" shines bright and charming. The presented characters tell empathic stories and promote a friendly and human way of living next to each other in a big city.   
 
The time capsule had to depart again from Munich in 2023. Thanks for the ride!  

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