A Perfect Crime – Martyr, Capitalist, Occupier, Victim

“A Perfect Crime” investigates the 1991 killing of politician Detlev Rohwedder, an unsolved mystery at the heart of Germany’s tumultuous reunification.

A Perfect Crime – Martyr, Capitalist, Occupier, Victim

Monday, April 1, 1991, 11:30 pm: Detlev Karsten Rohwedder was shot through the window on the 1st floor of his villa in Düsseldorf with a sniper shot. Rohwedder was the head of the “Deutsche Treuhandanstalt”, at that time the largest company in the world. The Treuhand was responsible for the restructuring and privatization of the entire economy of the former GDR. The fatal sniper shot from 62 meters tears the country out of the dream of a non-violent and peaceful reunification. Although a letter of confession from the terrorist organisation of the Red Army Faction was found at the scene, the perpetrators have not yet been identified.

The 40-minute episodes “Märtyrer” “Capitalist”, “Occupier” and “Victim” present four different perspectives on the figure of Rohwedder and thus possible motives for his murder.: Was it the last spectacular murder of the Red Army Faction – their so-called 3rd generation – was the East-German secret service Stasi behind the murder or were other forces, for example, Western forces at work?

The series is situated in the years 1990/91, the time immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and paints the picture of a divided Germany: the radical economic cure is leading to massive unemployment in the East, the euphoria of reunification has evaporated, in many cities, the Monday demonstrations flare up again and tens of thousands of people take to the streets, calls for the Kohl government to resign are louder.

The first German Netflix original documentary series offers a multi-perspective view of one of the most prominent unsolved murder cases of the German post-war period. A turbulent case and a piece of history that – as we approach the 30th anniversary of German unity – helped shape the foundation of a nation and still touches the torn soul of this nation and its people.

Created by: Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Christian Beetz

Directed by: Jan Peter, Georg Tschurtschenthaler

Co-directed by: Torsten Striegnitz

Additional Writing: Martin Behnke, Jan Peter

Director of Photography: Jürgen Rehberg

Editing: André Nier, David Gesslbauer, Philipp Gromov

Archive & Research: Janne Gärtner

Music: Nils Kacirek, Milan Meyer-Kaya

Postproduction: Xavier Agudo

Producer: Florian Fettweis

Line Producer: Kathrin Isberner

Executive Producer: Christian Beetz

  • True Crime

    25 September 2020 at 12:00 am

  • The Guardian

    „The death in 1991 of Detlev Karsten Rohwedder had all the hallmarks to become Germany’s version of John F Kennedy’s assassination […] and will attract renewed speculation with the launch of A Perfect Crime this Friday, the first German documentary commissioned by the US streaming giant Netflix."

  • Der Spiegel

    "In this series, the years between 1989 and 1991 become a dizzying kaleidoscope of German-German sensitivities. Dramaturgically dense, freed from bearded television docu-dramaturgy, "Rohwedder" becomes a political drama that leads to a personal one.