Willi Zahlbaum Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Born in Berlin 1914, died in Berlin 2002; with social democratic parents, Zahlbaum was as a child member of the Rote Falken; joined the socialist Sozialistischer Jugendverband 1932 and the Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei 1933; did illegal work after the Nazi seizure of power; arrested in early 1935 and imprisoned for eighteen months; forced to serve in ‘Strafdivision 999' 1942; taken prisoner 1943; stayed in French prisoner of war camp Bizerte in Tunisia 1943-1947; returned to Berlin 1947; worked as a radio and television journalist; resigned as head of the DEFA-Studio für Wochenschau und Dokumentarfilme 1962; secretary of the Vietnam solidarity committee of the GDR 1965-1975; left the SED in early November 1989 and became SPD-member in his later years.


Copy of his typescript ‘Zwei Sommer im Preußischen Strafgefängnis Berlin-Tegel’ (Two summers in Prussian prison Berlin-Tegel) c. 1992.

NB. A revised version of this typescript is published in his memories Aufrecht gehen (2001).