Previous posts in this discussion:
PostA Dinner with Uwe Krist, Intrepid Travel Journalist (Patrick Mears, -Germany, 07/02/21 3:39 am)
In John E's comments on my prior post concerning my recent visit to Berlin and its famed Jewish Museum, he asked if I could supply any other details of this trip.
The other major highlight for me in Berlin this time was visiting, in the company of Cornelia, one of her very close friends among the journalists that she knows, a fellow named Uwe Krist, who was earlier involved in print journalism but now devotes his time and efforts to TV journalism. A number of his highly entertaining productions (in German) may be viewed on the YouTube channel, and they are well worth watching. During this recent trip, we visited Uwe and his wife, Brigitte, at their large apartment home in the Charlottenburg District of Berlin and then took dinner with them at a nearby restaurant. I had met Uwe some years ago at an annual dinner of the German Journalists Association/Vereinigung Deutscher Reisejournalisten (VDRJ) held in Frankenberg, a small town located in the German Bundesstaat of Hessen. At the farewell dinner for that meeting, Connie and I shared a table with some of her fellows, which included Uwe and his friend, Otto Deppe, who had been a radio journalist with Radio Saarland early in his career. In that capacity, Otto had been the only German radio journalist present in NASA's Houston Control Center on the night of July 21, 1969, when Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot upon the Moon's surface.
Here is a link to Otto's live broadcast of that event.
While sitting near Uwe during this dinner, I couldn't help but be amazed and his many fascinating and colorful stories that he told the guests at our table from his storied career in journalism. Uwe was born in 1941 in the German city of Wiesbaden, which is located in the German Bundesstaat of Hessen on the Rhine riverside. As a young man, Uwe studied Archaeology and History of Art in Munster at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität and later as a scholarship holder in Naples, Italy. His doctoral thesis addressed the subject of the aesthetic architecture of the Renaissance. After he received his doctorate from the University of Naples in 1966, Uwe became engaged in fieldwork, unearthing a Bronze Age cemetery and medieval church ruins in Germany. Traveling farther afield, Uwe then participated in the excavation of a Pre-Columbian, princely grave in the nation of Colombia. In 1971, he began work as a print travel journalist for WELT am SONNTAG and quickly worked his way up the professional ladder, becoming the Travel Editor for this national weekly newspaper in 1974. Later in 1978, he was appointed to this same position at the weekly Manager Magazin. In his role as travel journalist, Uwe travelled throughout the world, especially to what were then regions that were inaccessible to the casual traveler. Uwe describes his persona during fifty years of traveling as "mostly a curious stranger who made many friends," and "was always fascinated by other cultures and humanity everywhere."
Some examples of Uwe's unique travel experiences include a "Robinson Crusoe" adventure undertaken in 1975, when he was dropped off on a tiny island in the Maldives chain with only a machete to use as a tool during a sojourn that lasted three weeks. He also trekked for seven days up (and seven days down) in the Langtang region of Nepal, 5650 meters high in the Himalayas, during which time he was accompanied by the famous Sherpa named Sundaram. Uwe also traveled on foot in Borneo seeking the elusive white Dayak, and participated in similar explorations in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais and in Ecuador. The Sahara Desert also caught Uwe's fancy during these days, in which he was a member of various expeditions through that torrid wasteland. Looking backward to Uwe's doctoral thesis on Renaissance architecture, we can accurately describe him as the quintessential "Renaissance Man," especially when one takes into consideration that (i) he has been an active deep-sea diver since 1975, (ii) he has been financially supporting for years now an elderly man in Ladakh who has no living relatives, (iii) he writes novels and poetry, and (iv) he is a close friend of the acclaimed Greek composer of ninety-six years, Mikis Theodorakis, who is perhaps best known for his score of the 1964 film, Zorba the Greek.
Since 1994, Uwe as reporter and later as managing director and TV producer, has specialized in producing travel videos for the Breakfast TV on Sat.1, one of Germany's most successful private TV channels. These videos may be easily accessed on the YouTube channel. Some fine examples of these works are the following:
"Meteora: Life in a Greek Cloister" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QksQm-AzYYA&t=133s
"Naples: Travelfever Europe" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLHX6zET1Iw&t=125s
"The Incas and Machu Picchu" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuzfwR-q3Xc&t=213s
"Uwe Krist in the Amazon" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIY7xuJFaZ0&t=61s
When I listen to Uwe tell his stories, watch his travel videos and marvel at the relics that he has collected from ancient sites in Greece, Italy and other corners of this world, I am amazed at his sharp intelligence, vital energy and fearless risk-taking. All of that and more has resulted in the recreation of a true Renaissance Man, which in this day and age we desperately need more of.
JE comments: What an unforgettable dinner companion, Pat! Uwe Krist is cut from the same cloth as the most intrepid of German sojourners: Alexander von Humboldt comes to my mind. It's good that the age-old German Wanderlust is still in force. Or how about Fernweh--the yearning one experiences to be away from home. "Farsickness"? Call it the opposite of the Portuguese saudades.
Pat Mears included several photos in his e-mail. Four images spanning the decades give an overview of Uwe Krist's fabulous travel career.
On the Araguaia River in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in the 1970s
A Suriname village, 1970s
Preparing for a film about Ancient Egypt, Berlin`s New Museum, 2020
New Museum, 2020