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East Berlin on November 20, 1976. A few days earlier, Wolf Biermann had been expatriated, whereupon the famous petition made the rounds and was published in the West. Manfred Krug makes his house in Pankow available for a last attempt at mediation between the resisting artists and some high SED officials. There has never been anything like this before or since in the GDR. What no one but Krug knows is that the talks are recorded on a tape recorder. In June 1977, Krug left for the West, the explosive tape in his luggage. In 1996, the recording was published in book form, flanked by diary entries and passages from Stasi files. Two years later, Frank Beyer made the film version. In its mixture of scenes, original documents and Krug's comments spoken directly into the camera, Abgehauen offers a complex look back at a vanished country and its people - a highlight of German television history. (cl)