Drug trafficking, AIDS and the first kiss of gay TV – all this happened in "Lindenstraße". 2020 should be over. Inventor Hans V. Geißendorfer says very clearly how to find it.
Photo series with 13 pictures
From the point of view of the "Lindenstrassen" fans, it must appear in retrospect as a bad sign that Hans Beimer suddenly collapsed in a forest house in early September and made his last breath. A few weeks after the death of this central figure, VDR announced on Friday the entire series – the longest running of German television.
The final episode will be shown in March 2020, after more than 34 years. Producer Hans V. Geißendorfer and his daughter and successor Hannah responded angrily: "We are upset and we can only express our lack of understanding that ARD obviously does not see it anymore as its mission to continue the series, whose core belongs to the point to represent." In the time of the right-wing xenophobia, the series is "more important than ever".
Hans V. Geißendorfer and Hana Geißendorfer: Since 2015 they have been jointly produced by Lindenstraße. (Source: imago)
For years, there have been rumors of upcoming outbursts, but in the end, the production contract has been extended over and over again. Ultimately, "Lindenstraße" is an "icon on German television," as Volker Herres, program director for the first, says.
"We just started!"
When the series began on December 8, 1985, Helmut Kohl was only three years old chancellor, in the east, Erich Honecker was firmly in the saddle. And in "Lindenstraße"? As a family, Beimer played coffee and cake for the first Advent. "Are we standing now?" They were the first words in the series by Benny Baymer (played by Christian Kahrmann). To which Father Hans replied: "We just started!" Prophetic words.
The series was initially criticized sharply. Even VDR itself has acknowledged problems with tightening, they go slowly. Geißendorfer disagreed: "The series is playing in the normal rhythm of life – if Hans Beimer should one day start kicking, then you can prepare the audience for six, eight years on it."
The hell took place in "Lindenstraße"
Since then, "Lindenstraße" has acted as a mirror of federal republican moral and social history. The marriage of Helge and Hans Beimer broke up after he left his "pigeon" for neighbor Anu. Benno Zimmermann carpenter died of AIDS. In 1990, the German series showed how two gay men kissed. Drug trafficking, alcoholism, gambling addiction, suicide and even killed rabbits – compared to "Vicherts by the door" or ZDF "state physician" was hell at "Lindenstraße".
New family Hans Beimera: Martin, Emil, Anna, Sarah and Sophie. (Source: VDR / Steven Mahner)
But the big politics was reflected: in 1998, Lindenstraße was involved in the election campaign by setting up Vietnamese as alternative candidate for Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) and Gerhard Schroder (SPD). On Sunday in federal elections last year, residents have even responded to a result that has only recently become known: the creators have turned various scenarios into it and have now entered a suitable variant.
From the beginning Geißendorfer achieved the goal that observers see the residents of "Lindenstraße" as neighbors. The boundary between fiction and reality is not blurred. Irene Fischer-Probst, actress Hajn Beimer's friend Anna Ziegler, was named "adulterer" at the supermarket. CSU politician Peter Gauveiler 1988 sued "Linden Street" as the resident called him a "fascist". Some viewers even wanted to rent a car in the Munich Vorortstraße, which exists only as a background on the VDR fair on the sharp edge of Cologne.
And now the end – how could this happen? This also applies to the history of the Federal Republic. When "Lindenstraße" started, public law just became a competition, RTL was still very young. Then, in the 1980s, an average of 12 million people watched. In the end, there were just over two million.
After all, a good year, the series will continue, so it's a long current production contract. And then of course it is this: Only when the series is history really becomes a cult. Almost as if Father Beimer had expected all of this. His last words shortly before his death a few weeks ago were: "This is not the end; it's just the beginning."