I met Jochen Nestler the first time at Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 1998. He was 62 at this time, I was 27. We startet talking and had a glass of wine together. He was one of the most gentle persons I ever met, very intelligent, an extensive reader. We figured out that I lived in Berlin and he in Stahnsdorf not far from Berlin. We promised to meet some time and have a coffee together. He was probably surprised when I actually called him, but he said he was pleased to meet me again. ( I mentioned before that he was a very gentle, very polite person). So we met a couple of times in Berlin. From the stories he told me, I learned a lot about what it meant to live as an artist in GDR. He was born in Rochlitz, Saxonia in 1936, was among the first students who startet studying at the “Deutsche Hochschule für Filmkunst” which is now “Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg. He worked as a screenwriter for DEFA, most of his screenplays, literature and theater plays he wrote together with Manfred Freitag. Here‘s one of the rare photos of the GDR’s writing team. When their film “Denk bloß nicht, ich heule” (Just don’t think I’ll cry) was harshly critizised for it’s critical discussion of socialism during the 11. Plenum of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) which took place from December 16 to December 18, 1965, the sccreenwriting career of Jochen Nestler was over. The film was forbidden in the GDR. As many of his critical colleagues, Nestler from then on wrote fairy tales and children film scenarios for DEFA. When the wall came down, he wasn’t capable any more to get used to a completely new Television and film industry with different rules – and he didn’t know the people. From 1994 on he taught screenwriting at HFF Konrad Wolf. In August 2001 he told me that he was working on a huge projekt, an novel. I immediately understood that this novel was “the project of his life.” I felt very honored when he invited me to a reading of the first chapters of his novel. The reading took place at the filmschool. There where maybe 20 people, some of his teaching colleagues, some students and Jochen Nestler was very nervous – and then he started reading. I don’t remember the working title of the novel but I remember a scene which took place at the Goethepark in Weimar. I listened to his low voice and understood that Jochen Nestler has fallen out of his life too often. The new, Western life wasn’t his at all and in East Germany he wasn’t allowed to live the life he wanted to. I was pretty sure that nobody would be interested in publishing this novel, it was just not good enough. After the reading he came to me and asked me what I would think about it – I knew how much effort it must have cost him, to ask me that question and I told him that I liked it very much. He looked at me with a sad smile and said: “Thank you, I’m very glad to hear that from you.” He knew that I was lying. Five months later he was dead. He died March 17th, 2002.