Juergen Corleis - journalist

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"Always on the Other Side"
"A journalist's journey from Hitler to Howard's end."
by Juergen Corleis

I have decided to self-publish the book on-line where you can download it as a pdf and read it on your computer or print it off if you, like me, prefer paper to screens for reading.  

The book will be soon available for purchase.

But first you might like to find out more...
- read the abstract below,
- browse  table of contents  or
- click here to download chapter 50 "New York" for free.


"Always on the Other Side"
By Juergen Corleis

This is the story of a German who had two fathers during World War 2. The natural one was a Colonel in the German army, his stepfather a retired English Lt-Colonel, who strongly influenced him when he was a little boy. He survives the war in a Dresden SS boarding school, where he invariably runs into trouble. His sister dies in the British air raid on Dresden. Their mother is Jewish by Jewish law. Her other daughter, to his stepfather, is killed by a German bomb near London. After the war he witnesses the re-establishment of German democracy from the English side, as his stepfather is with the Allied Control Commission for Germany. He observes how yesterday’s leaders are reinstalled in key positions, especially in administration, universities and the media.

In order to achieve his goal to become a documentary filmmaker and author, he has to work for and with old Nazis until he has gained independence from them. Historical analysis of what led to World War 2 – and its consequences – is the main topic of his portraits of German politicians and documentaries on Germany at war and the first years after. He also reports from Eastern bloc countries for a kind of “Four Corners” program on German television and makes films on Fascism in Spain, wartime propaganda, Castro’s Cuba, and the first TV-portrait of Che Guevara, just to name a few.

Fascinated by Australia, where his mother and stepfather have already migrated, he decides to concentrate on this country, which in 1980 has little exposure in the German media. He establishes “Southern Cross TV productions”. Amongst its films are “Australia’s Germans”, a history of the German contribution to Australia’s development, and “Bergen-Belsen”, viewed through the eyes of Australian witnesses and survivors.
He reports for German radio and is the Australia correspondent for the Axel-Springer group of Newspapers, Europe’s largest producer of newsprint.

Upon election in 2000 as President of the Foreign Correspondents Association of Australia and the South Pacific he has to cope with the Howard government’s decision to shut down Sydney’s International Media Centre immediately after the Sydney Olympics. Like most of his colleagues he now reports stories that are unfavorable to Australia – like the Tampa incident, inhuman detention camps and the “Children Overboard” election winner, which casts a shadow on his perception of the national psyche.  He is concerned about Australia’s future as a democracy. Some memories of previous experiences come to mind as he lives in the country of his choice, which he loves. There are, however, parallels to what the author has seen before, and he hints at them without bitterness. Some of the contradictions of deceitful politics, here and earlier witnessed, are even entertaining, he thinks. 

Juergen Corleis
March 2008

copyright Aglaja Beyes, Estate of Juergen Corleis. All rights reserved.