The Film

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Pirckheimer Society embraces Klemke project

The German Pirckheimer Society has embraced the ‘Rendezvous at Erasmus’ project and has started a campaign of their own to find financial support for the documentary.
The Society is named after the humanist and bibliophile Willibald Pirckheimer (Germany, 1470-1530) and collects Ex Libris and other outstanding graphic design work.
Werner Klemke was one of its founders (Berlin, 1956) and was an active member until his death in 1994. The Society publishes a magazine ‘Marginalien’, organizes lectures and expositions of renowned graphic artists.
In this age of E-readers it’s good to see how many people still care about the book in its original form, with beautiful layout and typography. Graphic art is still appreciated by many people, like the Pirckheimer Society, and now it’s great that they have embraced a film project which will reveal an unknown chapter in the life of that graphic giant Klemke.
The blog about this campaign is to be found here.

Crowdfunding in Holland starts this week

The original idea came from the campaigning team of Barack Obama: don’t ask millionaires for huge amounts to support your campaign, but ask millions of people to contribute whatever they can. Crowdfunding was born.
In Holland this idea is taking flight as well, especially in the cultural sector. To realize our project (mainly to purchase the expensive archive material), we have started our crowdfunding campaign through CineCrowd this week.
You can make the difference for this wonderful project! (and your gift is up to 65% tax deductable for Dutch and Belgian citizens)


Unexpected meeting in Nuremberg

After all the research done on the Klemke and van Perlstein families, I kept wondering if there were any remaining relatives of Johannes Gerhardt, who had died in the South of Holland in 1944. After all he had been closely involved in the underground network, and much more than that I didn’t know about him.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, many Germans had gone in search for long lost relatives. Several organizations are specialized in this field. That’s how, through a good friend in Berlin, I got in touch with the Kirchlicher Suchdienst. Whatever information I had about Gerhardt I sent to them, with little hope of finding anything after nearly 70 years. But, as it should be in a feel good movie, they did find someone. It was his niece Marianne, born in 1941, daughter of Gerhardts sister Lotte.
She lived, of all places, in Nuremberg, a town which is still associated with the birthplace of the Nazi racial laws, and the stadium where Hitler kept his infamous speeches in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 200.000. And of course it is the place where the postwar Nuremberg trials took place, where some of the war criminals were put on trial, convicted and some, like Arthus Seyss-Inquart, high commissioner of the Netherlands during the war, sentenced to death.
But all the associations aside: there we were at Marianne’s place, welcomed with homemade cheesecake for her guests from Holland – the country she knew where her uncle had died. She had absolutely no clue about his involvement in the resistance, his connections with the van Perlsteins and was utterly surprised by the many photo’s and letters, even books we had involving Gerhardt. That her relative was instrumental in the saving of so many lives, gave her a completely different picture of the man, whose only photo she had was in his Wehrmacht uniform.
So there we were, in tears about things that happened nearly 70 years ago, just to show that there is no expiration date for being moved by the courage, goodness and integrity of an exceptional person.

New eyewitness to Klemke’s story

Welcome to the brand new website about the fascinating episode around the Dutch van Perlstein resistance group and their German buddies Klemke & Gerhardt during WWII.The Dutch press loves the story, if you don’t read Dutch, you can at least have a look at the newly found pictures. You can read the full article by downloading the PDF here.One of the reactions to the article was from a gentleman from Amsterdam, who (to his shock) recognized the German soldier in the photographs. As a boy he used to play at his uncle’s house in Amsterdam, where he was startled to see a German soldier. The soldier calmed him down (in poor Dutch), and his uncle assured him that this was a ‘good’ German. After the war his uncle Van Graafland turned out to have been heavily involved in the resistance.

So: keep following this ongoing story – nearly every day something pops up…


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Annet Betsalel                    Director & Research

Juan Morales Calvo           Production

Michael Ballak                   Camera &  Stills Photography

Gaby Wojtiniak                 Location Research

Matthias Haberzettl          Consultant

Sabine Kahane                   Art Work

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