Bonus Material

Martin Elsaesser on the Sun Island part 1


One of two compilations made from home movies for the exhibition "Martin Elsaesser and the New Frankfurt" held at the Deutsche Architekturmuseum (DAM) Frankfurt (10 October 2009 - 14 March 2010). The  videos led to the idea of making a film.

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See: DAM Frankfurt Exhibition Website

Martin Elsaesser at the Opening of the Grossmarkthalle


Martin Elsaesser can be seen in the front row, manuscript in hand, minutes before he gives his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Grossmarkthalle on 25 October 1928.  His address speaks about the "New Vision" in architecture and is quoted in the film

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See: Der Bau der Grossmarkthalle

Martin Elsaesser on the Sun Island part 2


The second compilation (in color) of Martin Elsaesser's presence on the Sun Island, edited  for the exhibition at the Deutsche Architektur- museum (DAM) Frankfurt "Martin Elsaesser und das Neue Frankfurt". Color stock was from Kodak's German subsidiary, located in Köpenick.

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See: DAM Frankfurt: Photos from Exhibition

The Grossmarkthalle/ Central Market


A melancholy video walk through the Frankfurt Grossmarkthalle after it had shut down as the city's main fruit and vegetable market, and before the European Central Bank had closed off the terrain to start building their new headquarters, incorporating the old building, but also cutting the torso in half. 

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Artist's View of the Grossmarkthalle


Mind Design's (Niels Schrader) Video essay about the history of the Grossmarkthalle, commission-ed by the Martin Elsaesser Foundation  for the 2015 opening of the permanent exhibition devoted to Martin Elsaesser in the West Wing of the ECB Building Reception Area. For guided tours go to

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Der schiefe Turm/ The leaning tower


A documentary made by Hessische Rundfunk about the building of the European Central Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt's old East End, and how such a large project transforms and upends the neighborhood. Among those commenting is Regine Elsässer, speaking on behalf of the Martin Elsaesser Foundation.

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Additional Scenes of Island Life/ Leben auf der Insel

Father and Son Working Together


In an otherwise tense relationship between Martin Elsaesser and his son Hans Peter, there are moments of cooperation and harmony. Here they are building a jetty and assembling a foldable canoe, the famous Klepper-Boot. It proved popular with guests and durable - until the Soviet soldiers came in 1945.

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The Apple Harvest


The apple harvest was always a big event on the island, as apples were the one fruit that could be stored throughout the year and also taken to the Berlin apartment in the winter. Here it is Trudel and Yvonne, the singer and au-pair from Amsterdam who do the picking, packing and weighing.  

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The Island under Water


In the Spring of 1941 the island suffered a catastrophic flooding, putting all but the second floor of the house under water. A result of Migge not having lived long enough to fortify the embankment, the floods swept away much of the fertile soil that had been carefully built up over the previous ten years.

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The Sheep in Winter


 Farmers in Gosen kept Liesel's sheep during the winter. Come Spring they are brought back to the Island, but not before being weighed to prove they have been well-fed over the winter months. The sequence gives a rare glimpse of the people, faces and main street of Gosen.

The Cold Frames


Hans Peter gives a demonstration of how to build cold frames, first with a bed of leaves, tightly packed, then compost as soil, before the glass frames are put on top, slanted at an angle to catch the most sunlight. A Migge idea that proved vital during the war years.

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The Town of Gosen Remembers


Interviews with some of the inhabitants of Gosen - the town adjoining the Sun Island - about their memories of "Migges Insel" and what happened to the island during the years when the island was part of East Germany (GDR). Their memories are in turn vidid, funny, and touching.

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