There is a sentence from Hubertus Knabe that sums up his story: "One thing is whether something objectively fulfills the criteria of harassment," he says.

"It's enough if someone feels harassed." The former director of the Stasi Victims Memorial Berlin-Hohenschönhausen speaks these words into the camera of Maurice Philip Remy, who deals with the question of how it is in a ninety-minute documentary came to Knabe's resignation in September 2018.

It was enough for Knabe's decline that “someone felt harassed”.

Kim Maurus


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For eighteen years, Knabe was at the head of an organization that educated people about an injustice state that spied on, persecuted, arrested and left people languishing in prisons. The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is located in a former remand prison of the Stasi. Among boys, these rooms should be about establishing something like justice. Law and order were important to him. The fact that he was apparently less focused on what was happening between people in his house was his undoing.

Apparently, Knabe's story is easy to tell.

Its deputy director, Helmuth Frauendorfer, is said to have molested seven women between 2014 and 2018, most of them were volunteers or interns.

Among other things, it is about the lack of distance in private, nightly SMS to the employees, about physical approaches, in one case about a meeting with an intern in his private apartment, of which there are two versions.

The board of trustees, chaired by the left Berlin Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer, gets wind of this.

The protagonists in front of the camera

Those affected had turned to the women's representative in the Senate Administration several times, most recently in a joint letter. Lederer accuses Knabe of having done nothing against what was going on in his house. Knabe claims that he was not informed in detail about these events, neither by his employees nor by the Senate administration. After months of investigation, the board of trustees first put Frauendorfer in front of the door, and hours later, boy.

But nothing is told to the end. In the opposition of the Berlin House of Representatives, there is talk of an intrigue in view of the incident. It is said that Klaus Lederer was looking for ways to get rid of Hubertus Knabe and that he was a thorn in his side on a personal level. Filmmaker Remy also found the circumstances leading to Knabe's dismissal strange. Remy called his film "Special Process MeToo". The Stasi referred to files on people for whom it had “a specific operational interest” as “special events”. Remy claims to have researched for two years, held more than 50 conversations and evaluated thousands of files, some of which were classified as secret.

It is hard to imagine bringing this material together even closer than Remy does in his documentary.

In chronological meticulousness, he tells Knabe's story, which becomes more and more complex as it progresses.

What makes the film special, apart from the complexity of the content, are its protagonists.

Remy succeeded in getting the main actors in front of the camera in addition to former employees, journalists and GDR civil rights activists.

Again and again, Knabe, Frauendorfer and Lederer have their say and engage in a kind of personal appraisal.

Remy also reaches the political dimension

He thought: “I can't send you home like that,” Frauendorfer defends the evening when an intern poured out his heart during a joint restaurant visit; she came with him to his apartment. Klaus Lederer says in one scene that it was clear to him that if he were to deal too actively with the allegations, then it would immediately go to him, the "post-communist oppressor relativist who wants to get rid of the unloved critic here". And Hubertus Knabe openly admits: “I thought I could not be terminated.” Also because the CDU has always supported him at the federal level up to now. The personification of the processes makes Remy's film worth seeing. Many important details such as SMS, letters and protocols are shown anonymously to illustrate what has been said.

Both Knabe and Frauendorfer have appealed against their dismissal in court, Frauendorfer was subject to several instances, and Knabe's trial ended with a settlement. And the political dimension of the story also reaches the filmmaker Remy himself. Originally, the rbb wanted to publish a film together with the final report of the committee of inquiry at the end of August, which came to the conclusion that Knabe's dismissal was not politically motivated.

Before the publication, the rbb received a letter with Facebook posts from Remy, which alleged that the director was biased in the matter. Remy himself claims to have shared an appeal for donations on Facebook in 2018, which should enable the boy to go to due legal proceedings against his dismissal. He had clearly communicated to the rbb that he was critical of the circumstances. The rbb has examined the allegations and declared them to be incorrect. The film will now be released this Wednesday with a preliminary remark by Remy.

Only one thing is clear in this matter: Lederers and Knabe's supporters should find the points of contact in the documentary that they need to defend their stance;

all the little twists and turns are all too easy to hide.

The voices that might have provided clarity are those of women who apparently did not feel safe at work.

All of them did not want to express themselves - for which one really cannot blame them.

Special event MeToo runs today at 10:15 p.m. on rbb television.