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.

Background report at Filmpuls Magazin about Rohwedder.

The series has been awarded “Best Documentary Series 2020” at the TV Series Festival Berlin.
Klick here for the online award ceremony.


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

    Netflix
    25 September 2020 at 12:00 am

  • Die Zeit Feuilleton

    "That "lifetime achievement recognition" can't buy you much either - it takes a Netflix series in the 30th anniversary year to remind you of that." (Martin Eimermacher)

  • 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."

  • Hörzu

    "A gripping investigation of a torn nation."

  • Piqd.de

    "But above all, the series is a sensation, qualitatively. The first German Netflix documentary sets new standards. It is true crime, historiography, and ultimately also a critique of capitalism. In any case, it gives us a better understanding of why this country is the way it is." (Tino Hanekamp)

  • FAZ Sonntagszeitung

    "Beetz and Tschurtschenthaler never commit themselves in their multi-perspective narrative, if only for stylistic reasons: It is also the absence of an off-screen narrative voice or any other form of didacticism that gives the series its dramatic momentum." (Harald Staun)

  • ZEIT ONLINE

    "The merit of this docu-series, therefore, lies primarily in making visible the conditions of the economic system that began to digest the down-rocked GDR planned economy in the clash of unification in 1990." (Matthias Dell)

  • Inside History Magazine

    "If “A Perfect Crime” is what we can expect from further German based Netflix series producers then there is plenty more to look forward to."

  • Musikexpress

    "Complex, intense, and visually powerful." (Arabella Wintermayr)

  • Spiegel Online

    "The four-part "Rohwedder" is Netflix's first German documentary. In the style of a true-crime series, it tells of the fractures and upheavals of German unity - gripping, opinionated, and haunting." (Oliver Kaever)

  • Blickpunkt.Film

    "(...) a gripping history lesson that illuminates the Germany of the Wende era and, with great archival footage, takes a whole new look at the most important chapter in recent German history and gives a good sense of how the time felt back then." - (Thomas Schulze)
    Klick here for german text. [pdf]