The whole world should stay. Erich Fried / A portrait - Die ganze Welt soll bleiben. Erich Fried / Ein Porträt

Original title The whole world should stay. Erich Fried / A portrait
Country of production DDR
original language Deutsch
Publishing year 1988
Long 31 minutes
Director Roland Steiner
script Roland Steiner
production DEFA studio for documentary films
music Georgi Gogow
Camera Rainer M. Schulz
cut Angelika Arnold
Johanna Juerschik
  • Roland Steiner: Speaker

The whole world should stay. Erich Fried / A portrait is a documentary film by the DEFA studio for documentaries by Roland Steiner from 1988.


This color documentary reports on encounters with the poet Erich Fried . While the poet collects seashells on the Baltic Sea , the speaker explains who Erich Fried actually is - an Austrian who lives in London and whose main concern is the struggle for freedom, goodness and love, but which cannot be waged without freedom and goodness and love . He often comes into conflict with public opinion when he takes an open and critical position on political issues. So he seeks a conversation with a neo-Nazi in a television documentarywho is serving a sentence in a prison because one should get to know people with a different point of view, even if one cannot influence them.

Excerpts from a reading with Erich Fried are followed by observations in his home in London, starting with a look into his garden where he is walking with his wife. While walking through the streets, he stops at a bulky rubbish heap to rummage through. He can really get excited about various things, including a defective gas mask . Back in his living room he tells how he got into writing poetry, how he deals with the content and how the poems have to be designed.

In the company of his family with his son, daughter and grandchildren, Erich Fried tells that his wife Catherine Boswell-Fried deals with etchings and that, together with his poems, it has now become a book. He explains that most of his poems are not written at his desk, but on his knees. He also shows his typewriter, an ancient device that everyone else would have thrown away because almost nothing works anymore, but Fried has always found ways to keep using it.

He is also open about his cancer, for example showing a tube that leads into a vein and how everything works together. Despite his serious illness, he travels the world all year round, giving lectures and readings that make up a large part of the film. Here it is also mentioned that as a Jew he had to leave his homeland during the National Socialist era . His memory, which he can always rely on, and his ability to always formulate wonderful sentences and poems are addressed, which is why Erich Fried is able to enrich this documentary with his captivating stories.


The premiere of the film, shot on ORWO color under the working title Resistance , took place on the occasion of the 11th National Festival of Documentaries and Short Films of the GDR for cinema and television at the beginning of October 1988 in Neubrandenburg . [1] On November 10, 1988, the film ran in the series offers at the Babylon cinema in Berlin . [2] On November 28, 1988, it was performed at the International Leipzig Documentary and Short Film Week for cinema and television in the Filmkunsttheater Casino . [3]The film was shown for the first time in German cinemas in early March 1989 at the 5th Days of Independent Film in Augsburg [4] and at the end of April 1989 at the 35th International West German Short Film Festival in Oberhausen [5] .

The dramaturgy was in the hands of Anne Richter , who also wrote the commentary together with Roland Steiner.


Individual evidence

  1. Neues Deutschland, October 18, 1988, p. 6
  2. Berliner Zeitung of November 5, 1988, p. 12
  3. Berliner Zeitung of November 29, 1988, p. 1
  4. Berliner Zeitung of March 11, 1989, p. 7
  5. Neues Deutschland, April 24, 1989, p. 4