Background to the “crime scene: tyrannicide” from Hamburg

Updated on 03/20/2022 21:47

  • The new “Tatort” from Hamburg is set in a posh boarding school.
  • The story of a despot’s missing son was inspired by personal experiences – and the school days of a real dictator.

More information about the “crime scene” can be found here

Where is Orinaca located?

The country where the President’s son Juan Mendez comes from does not really exist. However, the name evokes associations with real South American countries. The Orinoco is the second largest river in South America, and in parts it forms the border between Venezuela and Colombia in the north of the continent. In both countries, the official language is Spanish, which Juan’s bodyguard Carlos also speaks.

Because of his disregard for the elected parliament, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro is not recognized as head of state by several western democracies, and Venezuela is increasingly regarded as a (military) dictatorship. The Hamburg actor José Barros put on a Venezuelan accent for his role as Carlos: “It took months, although I speak perfect Spanish because my parents are from Chile.”

Does the Rosenhag boarding school really exist?

The noble boarding school in the “crime scene” is fictitious. However, it was filmed in a real school: the Solling boarding school, located in a park-like landscape near Holzminden in Lower Saxony, is a real high school.

“Our approximately 200 boarding school students,” according to the website, “come mainly from the north, west and center of Germany, but also from Spain, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Around 50 young people from Holzminden and the surrounding area attend the high school as external students.” School fees for the year 2021/22 are 3,150 euros per month for boarders and 700 euros for external students.

Screenwriter Jochen Bitzer and director Christoph Stark did their Abitur together as external students at a girls’ boarding school. For the “crime scene” Bitzer also researched at a boarding school on Lake Chiemsee, which is attended by many children of wealthy parents: “The conditions that we portray in the film correspond to reality,” says the author about his film. “Basically, they are impressive pedagogical concepts. Everyone should have access to such a school.” At the end of “Tatort” he also had Commissioner Falke say a similar sentence. It was also important to him and director Stark not to take a cynical look at the school, “in the sense that all students who go to boarding school are little assholes just because they have rich parents.”

The real dictator behind the “crime scene”

Author Jochen Bitzer got the idea for the story from a newspaper report about the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. From 1998 to 2001 he was said to have attended the Liebefeld Steinholzli Swiss school near Bern as Pak Un, the son of an embassy employee. Like Juan in the “crime scene” he had a bodyguard at his side. However, Liebefeld is not a boarding school, Kim Jong Un is said to have lived with an aunt in Bern. After a Japanese newspaper published corresponding rumors in 2009, media from all over the world questioned former classmates.

A neighbor told the Swiss “Tages-Anzeiger”, Kim Jong Un confided in him. Several of her aunt’s classmates and neighbors also reported that basketball was Kim Jong Un’s great passion. On the other hand, he kept his distance from girls, said a classmate. Because he hardly spoke German, according to the “Tages-Anzeiger” in 2011, he was not well received in class. To the end he remained stiff and unapproachable and laughed little.

In 2012, a French anthropologist for the Swiss “SonntagsZeitung” compared old class photos with a current picture of Kim Jong Un and came to the conclusion that the child was actually the future North Korean dictator.

crime scene

Mark Waschke celebrates his 50th birthday on March 10th. The actor is known, among other things, as “Tatort” commissioner Robert Karow. With this role he has already caused outrage. You can find out from the gallery what other episodes have caused tempers in the past.