Krieg ist das Ende aller Pläne & Woher wir kommen, wohin wir gehen

Krieg ist das Ende aller Pläne & Woher wir kommen, wohin wir gehen

Edition Filmmuseum 31

War Is the End Of All Plans: War is characterized by the fact that it breaches all barriers. In his book, "On War", Carl von Clausewitz describes how war dreams of its own "omnipotence". Actually, it can never be omnipotent because it is full of all the probabilities we find in real life which continually disrupt its almighty power. In the end, it is just those probabilities which devour the power of war itself but which are as ill-suited to put an end to war as a peace agreement. Where We Come From, Where We Go To: Mankind has not been wiped out by wars and disasters ("against all odds") thanks to its ancient roots. It can be assumed that, without their knowing, human beings bear a treasure endowed upon them by evolution which protects them from demise (as a guardian angel would). Evolution, which begins in outer space, is too diverse to be sabotaged by the whims of the present.

The films

August 1914 - With a text by Ernst Jünger - First broadcast: June 4, 2000, dctp on RTL - When the German Reich sent its declaration of war to Paris via telegram, it arrived completely garbled. It sounds like a Dada text. No one managed to decipher the secret text. The fact that it was nonetheless understood as the commencement of hostilities remains one of the mysteries of the catastrophe of 1914.

War is the End of all Plans - With Gerhard Groß - First broadcast: June 18, 2007, dctp on RTL - Count Alfred von Schlieffen, head of the German General Staff, developed in the years up to 1905 a promising plan which was to help the German Reich to a lightning victory should they get embroiled in a multi-front war. However, in the summer of 1914, everything unfolded totally differently. Dr. Gerhard Gross, lieutenant colonel and historian, reports.

As a Military Judge in November 1918 - With Peter Berling - First broadcast: October 9, 2005, dctp on RTL - The explosion of a munitions train standing in the congested lines of hospital trains at the station in Hamont in Belgium caused a disaster in November 1918. Military judge Dr. jur. Stötter is on duty: As long as the military courts are functioning, the Great War has not been lost.

Snapshots for my Fiancé - With Digne Meller-Marcovicz, Annalisa Maggiani, Mario Morleo - First broadcast: March 28, 1999, dctp on RTL - Kraft durch Freude (strength through joy) in the war year 1942. In the war years, young German women had to contend with female rivals in the occupied territories in Europe. They made nude photographs of themselves in order to raise the spirits, and keep the interest, of their fiancés, lovers or husbands on the front.

Zoo Animals in War - With Jörg Friedrich - First broadcast: October 30, 1995, dctp on RTL - The way in which massacres occur in modern warfare has often been described. "Morale Bombing" also took place in the zoological gardens. The historian Jörg Friedrich describes the demise of the animals in Dresden Zoo on February 14th, 1945.

Darwin and the Tank - With Heiner Müller - First broadcast: October 1, 1990, dctp on RTL - The very first tanks, which appeared on the battlefield of WWI in 1915, were called "Little Willi" and "Mother". It seemed they had not yet been defined: Were they tractors, mobile artillery, or fast vehicles? Over the following decades, this species of weapon had undergone a startling evolution. Heiner Müller describes tanks as the "continuation of the inner life by other means".

What is War? - With Oskar Negt - First broadcast: August 26, 2002, dctp on RTL - How does Clausewitz define war? What does the US president mean when he talks of a new kind of war in the 21st century? What does history teach us about wars? Which wars ended in a failed peace agreement despite numerous victories?

Women as Warriors - With Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly - First broadcast: August 21, 2005, dctp on SAT 1 - The British college tutor Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly discusses the wartime deeds of fearless women. She also characterizes the male fantasies of sexuality, fear, desire and violence in relation to female warriors. From Joan of Arc and Brunhilde, to the Partisans.

The Sahara Became Swampland - First broadcast: July 9, 2000, dctp on RTL - The theme here is the rapid development from the beginning of the universe to the Gauls. At the half-way stage of this development, the Sahara became a swamp. Before, a marine environment, later, a desert. The time during which the earth has developed possesses a violent force. Time is material violence. In memory, it shrinks.

Primal Ocean and Snowball Earth - With Bernd-Dietrich Erdtmann - First broadcast: June 25, 2006, dctp on RTL - Did the primal ocean originally cover the entire planet? What happened to organic life during and after the great ice age, which is sometimes called the "snowball earth"? How did the diverse species develop which, like in the Garden of Eden, originally coexisted in the depths of the ocean? And finally: How did the principle of "eat and be eaten" come about as a result of this?

The Magical World of Evolution - With Peter Hammerstein - First broadcast: August 5, 2007, dctp on RTL - The DNA of animals and humans are among the most cutting-edge products of evolution. In living bodies, it occurs folded up and in condensed structures. Stretched out into a single thread, the DNA of a single person would reach from the earth to the sun and back 200 times. This is an example of the diversity of life. The most astonishing results of this diversity result not from rivalry, but from cooperation.

First the Music, then the Words - With William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch, Ulrike Sprenger - First broadcast: August 21, 2003, dctp on SAT 1 - Lung fish and lions, nightingales and whales express themselves through sounds - they "sing". But humans alone have developed grammatically-structured language. Did the words of this language emerge individually? Or was there first a form of "language without meaning", that is, music?

On Laughing and Walking Upright - With Carsten Niemitz - First broadcast: September 24, 2006, dctp on SAT 1 - The faces of humans and monkeys have 50 muscles. They are necessary for facial expression, laughing, and crying: 60 million years of evolution were required for the development of these attributes, which are themselves a prerequisite for the formation of communal life and society.

Flexible Memory - With Eric R. Kandel - First broadcast: September 24, 2006, dctp on SAT 1 - Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dr. Eric R. Kandel from Columbia University, New York, is considered the "Einstein of brain research". In the year 2000 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage. Using a simple sea slug as his research subject, the sea hare, which possesses particularly large nerve cells, he discovered proteins from which long-term memory is formed.

Evolution in the Universe - With Günther Gustav Hasinger, Matthias Steinmetz - First broadcast: March 9, 2008, dctp on SAT 1 - In antiquity, a mariner or hunter could identify 6000 stars with his naked eye. Modern astrophysics now researches trillions of stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters. The universe is showing all the signs of an evolution. Between 70 and 90 percent of the masses that cause gravity and anti-gravity remain undiscovered. A gold rush epoch in astronomy!

Germany 1990-2008 - Directed and written by: Alexander Kluge Cinematography by: Michael Christ, Heribert Kansy, Walter Lennertz, Werner Lüring, Claudia Marcell, Thomas Willke - Edited by: Kajetan Forstner, Andreas Kern - Contributors: Roland Forstner, Michel Gaißmayer, Erich Harandt, Alexandra Kluge, Michael Kurz, Digne Meller-Marcovicz, Claudia Toursarkissian, Alexander Weil, Toni Werner, Beata Wiggen - Produced by: Kairos-Film, München - Sound engineering by: Gunther Bittmann, Ernst Schillert

DVD features (2-disc DVD)


  • August 1914 2000, 15'
  • Krieg ist das Ende aller Pläne 2007, 24'
  • Als Kriegsrichter im November 1918 2005, 15'
  • Ich knipse für meinen Verlobten 1999, 15'
  • Zootiere im Bombenkrieg 1995, 16'
  • Darwin und die Panzerwaffe 1990, 14'
  • Was ist Krieg? 2002, 24'
  • Frauen als Kriegerinnen 2005, 11'
  • 16page booklet with texts by Alexander Kluge


  • Die Sahara wurde Sumpfgebiet 2000, 15'
  • Von Ur-Ozean und Snowball-Earth 2006, 15'
  • Zauberwelt der Evolution 2007, 24'
  • Erst die Musik, dann die Worte 2003, 15'
  • Vom Lachen und dem aufrechten Gang 2006, 12'
  • Das flexible Gedächtnis 2006, 20'
  • Evolution im Universum 2008, 29'
  • Short stories by Alexander Kluge as ROM features

DVD edited by: Filmmuseum München and Goethe-Institut, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation
DVD authoring: Ralph Schermbach
DVD supervision: Stefan Droessler

First edition November 2008, Second edition August 2010

TV Format Original format Audio format Language Subtitles Region code
4:3 (PAL)
Dolby Digital 2.0
All Regions


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