The Death of Uwe Barschel -An Endless Scandal

Documentary: 45 min.
Scriptwriter and Director: Patrik Baab, Andreas Kirsch, Stephan Lamby

1987: Germany is shocked by the biggest political scandal of the post-war period. Uwe Barschel, prime minister of the federal state Schleswig-Holstein, is suspected to have organised a smear campaign against his competitor, the social democrat Björn Engholm. On September 18th, Barschel gives the public his word of honour that the accusations against him are false. Barschel clings to his power – but finally has to resign. A few days later, he is discovered dead in a hotel room in Geneva. Police and prosecutors are not able to clarify the circumstances that lead to his death. Up to this day, the question whether it was murder or suicide is still being discussed by experts.

Other questions remain unanswered too: When did Barschel’s opponent Björn Engholm find out about the tricks that were used against him? Has the SPIEGEL, the first magazine to report on this affair, been taken in by a liar? Also the major figure of the scandal has left the public many riddles: Has Barschel really been in contact with weapon dealers? What did he do during his mysterious trips to the GDR? The extensively researched documentary takes a close look at the scandal from 1987.

First Run: