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Anne Roerkohl’s dissertation “Starvation Blockade and the Home Front” became the subject of her first television documentary “The 1916-1917 Turnip Winter in the Ruhr Region” (WDR 1992). Following this, she authored numerous contemporary historical as well as social and economic history documentaries for television stations such as ARD and arte.

In 1998, the Anne Roerkohl dokumentARfilm GmbH produced its first own television feature “Undefeated in Battle – The Stab-in-the-Back Myth” in the SWR series Facts and Legends. The film “All Feuds now come to an End – Magdeburg and the Peace of Westphalia” for the television station MDR followed that same year. Further features followed up to today, primarily for the WDR in Cologne.


Flyer WDR, 2008

We Europeans! (5): Europe discovers the Concept of a Nation (19th Century)

Which ideas, events, developments, and upheavals were, from today’s point of view, particularly defining for the people of Europe? The six-part history series “We Europeans” attempts to find the cultural, political, economic, and social foundations of Europe by looking carefully at the large region’s long and fascinating history.

Anne Roerkohl wrote the script and directed the fifth episode in the series. In her film, she demonstrates how the good conceptual idea of a nation transformed itself into excessive national patriotism in the 19th century.

WDR, arte 2008, 45 Min.

Flyer WDR, 2008

The Steel Age (1): The Weavers’ Plight

The three-part ARD series “The Steel Age” describes the historical change caused by the industrial revolution in Germany on the basis of authentic lives.

In the first part, “The Weavers’ Plight”, Anne Roerkohl tells the story of the young Hermann Enters, who witnessed how the emerging textile industry drove the home-working weavers into a state of destitution, while industrial entrepreneurs such as Friedrich Engels Sen. amassed enormous wealth. Based on the written sources of both of these two protagonists, the film portrays their lives from 1856 to 1862.

ARD, WDR, SR 2008, 45 Min.

Dreharbeiten, 2005

Great Battles (2): 1631 – The Sack of Magdeburg

“Great Battles” is a four-part ARD series. Anne Roerkohl wrote the script and directed the second episode about the catastrophe of Magdeburg in 1631.

With meticulously filmed historical reenactments, the film shows how conflicts between two religious orientations led to the almost complete destruction of one of the largest German cities of the Early Modern Age in just four days. The Sack of Magdeburg represents a turning point in terms of the brutality of warfare in the Thirty Years’ War.

ARD, arte 2006, 45 Min.

Keep these off the U.S.A. – Buy more Liberty Bonds, USA 1917

The Media War – The Propaganda Battle in World War I

World War I marks a heyday of propaganda. Slogans, exaggerations, and outright lies were used to hammer home to the soldiers what they were fighting for, and to convince the civilians on the home front why they should persevere. Propaganda’s main weapons were the new mass media.

Based on propaganda posters, cartoons, and movies from different countries, Anne Roerkohl’s documentary explains which means were used to mobilize people for the war effort, both on the front and at home.

ARD, arte 2004, 45 Min.

Dusa Kireowa mit Tolik

Unwanted and forgotten – Female forced Laborers and their Children

There were many young women among the millions of forced laborers who were deported into the German Reich during World War II. In order to best exploit their work force, children were neither intended nor desired. In special maternity confinement camps, women were forced to have an abortion or to bear their children under the most primitive of conditions. Not even half of these newborns survived, and if they did manage to survive, they were taken from their mothers, who were only valued for their labor.

WDR 2000, 45 Min.

Wahlplakat der DNVP, 7. Dez. 1924

“Undefeated in battle” – The stab-in-the-back myth

After World War I, the myth emerged that German troops were “undefeated in battle” and only betrayal from civilians on the home front could have brought the military defeat. This ‘stab-in-the-back myth’ played an important role in the domestic political debates of the Weimar Republic, particularly in National Socialism. The stab-in-the-back myth was a fatal historical lie of the 20th century.

SWR 1998, 44 Min.