Opening of the special photo exhibition at Red Ox Memorial, Halle (Saale)
featuring Alexander K. Ammer: watch here!
Tagesthemen (German National TV-news) June 17th 2023 -
ARD - 23:15 Uhr
Top News #3 (starting at minute 9:50)
Local TV-report to promote the exhibition at Red Ox, Halle (Saale)
featuring Alexander K. Ammer: watch here!
MDR-aktuell June 16th 2023 - MDR - 21:45 Uhr
MDR-Podcast featuring Alexander K. Ammer: listen here!
Duration 33 minutes
DEFA cameraman Albert Ammer is on his way to get lunch for the film studio crew when his car gets stuck in mass demonstrations. He realizes immediately that "something big is about to happen". Nobody is aware that the following events will shape European history for decades to come and will forever change - not only - Albert Ammer's life. The cameraman will shoot three professional black & white 35mm film rolls. The film documents thoudands of jubilant and happy demonstrators. His camera films the very moments when more than 200 innocent female prisoners will be freed from a local prison. He shoots the only professional pictures from June 17th uprising in communist East-Germany.
The film pictures were classified by communist security forces "top secret" until the Wall came down in 1989. His son, Alexander Ammer says, Albert Ammer documented events which should never have taken place in the view of the communist regime. Albert was turned into an enemy of state. The Podcast tells Albert Ammer's story on June 17th 1953.
Contact to the radio journalists: 17-Juni@mdraktuell.de
ARD History featuring Alexander K. Ammer
"Aufstand der Frauen": Alexander K. Ammer
reports on the film shooting on June 17th 1953
In focus: The young film assistant next to the camera, Jutta-Regina Lau
The full documentary is available online (for free):
Many decades of historic research ignored the role of women in the uprising of June 17th 1953. Starting in the 1950s historic views on the protest against the communist East-German regime centered on male strike leaders and factory workers taking to the streets for protest.
However, lots of modern research reveals another look at the historic events in East-Germany in June 1953. Since the discovery of the film pictures by Albert Ammer, Jutta-Regina Lau (the film assistant on June 17th) started in the early 2000 years to point-out the importance of women in the uprising. The film pictures of her and the cameraman Ammer clearly show women in action on the streets and in jail. Interestingly, Jutta-Regina Ammer never talked about her role as film assistant. She indeed had an active role in documenting what happened on June 17th 1953.
Jutta-Regina Lau died few years ago and now her son continues the legacy of the film crew from June 17th 1953. Alexander K. Ammer reports on his decade long research into the film pictures from Ammer and Lau and the evolving events infront and behind the film camera.
The film pictures from downtown Halle (S.) clearly and without a doubt display "an uprising of women" on June 17th 1953. The film pictures shot with Jutta-Regina Lau's direct assistance show many, very young women and elderly females who take an active role in the street protests.
A unique sensation present the historical singular freeing of more than 240 female prisoners from an East-German (GDR) prison. Ammer and Lau film the peaceful escape of all female inmates from prison located in "Kleine Steinstrasse" on June 17th 1953. Due to excessive communist propaganda after the incident, starting on June 18th 1953, this historic sensation has never received sufficient historic attention. Nevertheless, the film pictures document incredible moments of disbelief and joy as all female prisoners are able to flee into freedom. Just moments later Soviet military officers and armed Soviet soldiers block the entrance gate of the emptied prison. Ammer and Lau's film pictures are simply just sensational. Alexander K. Ammer recollects how those events deeply moved his mother - even decades later as the pictures also found its way into freedom, as those were kept secret for more than 60 years in the infamous "Stasi-files" of the former communist German state.
ARD History "Aufstand der Frauen" ("Uprising of women") rediscovers our history!
Here link to the 45-minute documentary on ARD Mediathek (in German):
Online publication by Alexander K. Ammer
"Verbotene Bilder" ("Forbidden pictures"): Film pictures from June 17th 1953
Online article available here (in German)
Stil pictures full of suspence, short-lived joy and tragic-action. The article presents the insights and research results by Alexander K. Ammer on the film material shot by his parents on June 17th 1953. Dive into dramatic events which shaped European history for many decades. June 17th changed the lives of millions of people. Thousands of innocent people were thrown into jail by the former communist regime in East Germyna. Get to know how those events also changed the lives of cameraman Albert Ammer and his film assistant Jutta-Regina Lau. Their son published provides his perspective on German history and unbelievable "family affairs". It took lots of courage to demonstrate on June 17th. It took very much courage to film the events professionally and visible to all from the top of a truck. The pictures filmed live forever. The filmed protestors live forever and do never die. The story behind the pictures is a true thriller.
Newspaper article from Tuesday June 13th 2023 form Eastern Germany (published in Thüringer Landeszeitung, Ost Thüringer Zeitung und Thüringer Allgemeine)
Newspaper article reporting on Alexander K. Ammer from Friday, June 2nd 2023 (published in Mitteldeutsche Zeitung)
Newspaper article from Thursday, June 1st 2023 (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung)