The history of the State Film Archive began in 1955 with the transfer of material confiscated by the Red Army from the Reichsfilmarchiv to the GDR. Until 1990, the archive secured and made accessible the entire film production of the GDR. The archive was not an island of the blessed. But it was not the focus of film policy. This resulted in free spaces that were used.
This book is not a history of the archive, but a collection of memories of former employees, users and partners. It describes some of the careers that led to the film archive: theologians, philosophers, pedagogues, librarians, copy technicians, and even some archive scientists were involved - they were all united by "learning by doing".
DEFA documentarists - Christel Gass, Günter Jordan, Winfried Junge, Karlheinz Mund, Kurt Tetzlaff - report on their collaboration with the archive. Participants of FIAF Summer Schools - the further education events for film archivists from abroad - describe the lasting impressions they took with them.