The Spreewald Thriller
ZDF has been producing the popular Spreewald crime series since 2006. The solitary detective superintendent Krüger (Christian Redl) and chief inspector Fichte (Thorsten Merten) investigate at well-known locations in the Spreewald. The duo is supported by pathologist Dr. Marlene Seefeldt (Claudia Geisler-Bading) and criminal biologist Anna (Rike Schäffer). All Spreewald thrillers to date have been written by scriptwriter Thomas Kirchner.
The Spreewald crime thriller "Dead Men Mourn Not" (episode 14) is the most recent episode, which premiered on 28.3.2022 on ZDF. Since this episode, everything has changed: Kirchner has for the time being passed on the authorship to Stephan Brüggenthies, who wrote the script together with director Jan Fehse. Both are continuing the series in Kirchner's spirit. In addition to the returning main actors, actors and actresses Anna Loos, Nadja Uhl, Henry Hübchen, Anna Maria Mühe and Anja Kling, for example, have also taken on roles over the years.
Current episode 15: "The Seventh Person
Martin Fichte and his colleagues Luise Bohn and Torsten Krüger investigate the fire of a summer house and the death of a local politician. During their investigation, they meet Maya, a psychiatric patient with dissociative identity disorder. When they question her psychologist Jenny Trumasek, they learn that Maya can split herself into different people and is unpredictable. Five identities come to light. But one day a seventh person threatens to split off.
What is so special about the Spreewald crime novels?
Following the work of Scandinavian crime writers, the focus is not exclusively on the pure investigation. For almost as important is the landscape in which the plot is embedded. The landscape southeast of Berlin is known for its many small rivers that run through the Spreewald biosphere reserve . Legends shrouded in myth, such as that of the Snake King, and the customs of the Sorbs/Wends are repeatedly woven into the plots, which is what gives the thrillers their mystical and thoroughly dark charm. The director always manages to portray the magic of the Spreewald.
Do you want to get to know the Spreewald and the original locations of the Spreewald crime series? Book your holiday in the Spreewald now!
Do you have any questions or would you like individual advice on the best accommodation, excursion options, day experiences or even group trips in the Spreewald? Our team will be happy to advise you!
Filming Locations & Venues
Around Lübbenau/Spreewald, the central location of the episodes, a number of locations are arranged that should look very familiar to the Spreewald fan and the inclined crime thriller viewer. For filming takes place beyond the city limits.
The Spreewald Museum with its gatehouse from 1815 in Lübbenau is transformed into a police station, including the pathology department. The panning shot across the area around the Great Harbour in Lübbenau also returns regularly. In "The Tears of the Fish" (episode 3), the Great Harbour, from which Theodor Fontane already explored the branched flowing landscape of the Spreewald in 1859, becomes a central setting.
In "Reine tödliche Legende" (episode 4), Greta Althof (Muriel Baumeister) follows in the footsteps of her past where people usually reside, hold meetings or get married: in Lübbenau Castle. The estate has been owned by the count's family zu Lynar since the 17th century.
An easily accessible location from "Der Tote im Spreewald" (episode 2) is the poachers' hideout. For this is the Kanow Mill on the Nordumfluter in the Upper Spree Forest, where you can look at the traditional mill and watch the production of the well-known Spreewald linseed oil. The farm shop has a large selection of typical Spreewald products. Or book an undisturbed punt trip from Alt Zauche-Wußwerk into the impressive Hochwald forest - without any murder and death.
The Wotschofska inn, located in the alder forest just outside Lübbenau, is "converted" into a hotel in several episodes. This location plays a key role in "Feuerengel" (episode 5), the staging of which was quite a challenge for the set designers.
"Murderous Heat" (episode 6) takes the viewer to the logging hut on Love Island in the Hochwald. Here, the core-grown, full-grown vegetation of the UNESCO Spreewald Biosphere Reserve opens up - away from the suspense arcs of resourceful crime writers - a secluded idyll where you embrace peace and serenity.
Anyone who has seen "Playing with Death" (episode 9) will recognise the Lübben grove with its English oaks that are up to 250 years old. Here you will also find the "Liuba Stone", which poses a special riddle in the film. This stone is dedicated to Liuba, the goddess of love, and recalls the legend of the same name.
You want to get to know the Spreewald and the original locations of the Spreewald crime series? Book your holiday in the Spreewald now!
Do you have any questions or would you like individual advice on the best accommodation, excursion options, day experiences or even group trips in the Spreewald? Our team will be happy to advise you !
Broadcast dates & episodes
Here you can always find out about the upcoming broadcast dates of the popular Spreewald thrillers. Browse through past episodes and the mythical Spreewald stories.
Episode 16 has been shooting since the end of 2022. Working title "The Ferryman's Death" First broadcast: not yet known.
Episode 15 - The Seventh Person First broadcast: 30.01.2023 on ZDF, from 23.01.2023 on ZDF-Mediathek
Martin Fichte and his colleagues Luise Bohn and Torsten Krüger investigate the fire of a summer house and the death of a local politician. During their investigation they meet Maya, a psychiatric patient with dissociative identity disorder. When they question her psychologist Jenny Trumasek, they learn that Maya can split herself into different people and is unpredictable. Five identities come to light. But one day a seventh person threatens to split off.
Episode 14 - Dead men do not mourn First broadcast: 28.03.2022 on ZDF
After the death of his partner Marlene, Krüger retired from active police service, but he remained faithful to the Spreewald and his caravan there. When he discovers the body of the young environmental activist Chris Wentzel in the river, Fichte and his new colleague Luise Bohn have to take over the investigation. But he is not alone: his dead girlfriend talks to him through the legendary Spreewald figures. Following separate tracks, Spruce, Luise and Krueger find the estate of Jasmine and Gerald Heyse, who tragically lost their 6-year-old daughter many years ago, hidden deep in the Spreewald. The investigators believe this place could hold the solution to the riddle.
Episode 13 - Totentanz First broadcast: 08.02.2021 on ZDF
At carnival time, the Frankfurt blogger Lukas returns to his Spreewald home. He was found naked and dead in a field the morning after a big carnival party. He was celebrating in costume with his old youth gang and in parallel commented everything very critically for his social media followers. Alcohol and drugs were also involved. Now the task is to find out whether his death was an unfortunate accident, murder or suicide. A mixture of digital and real clues reveal puzzles. With the help of a young computer scientist, Spruce tries to enter the world of the deceased blogger. Kruger, on the other hand, goes the old-fashioned investigative route and hopes that his intuition will work again in real life. Meanwhile, Kruger tries to support his terminally ill partner Marlene in her illness.
Episode 12 - Time of the Wolves First broadcast: 27.04.2020 on ZDF Two men died in the Spreewald shortly after each other. Since external causes could not be ruled out in both accidents, the police intervened. Commissioner Krüger refuses to investigate the case because he is in a personal crisis. The air between local police officer Fichte and Krüger is thick, as Fichte accuses Krüger of having covered up a crime. Since then, Fichte has been investigating alone with the young police trainee Luise Bohn and becomes aware of the suspicious rocker gang "The Wolves", who have only recently arrived in the Spreewald.
11th episode: 26.11.2018: "Deadly homecoming".
After her father passes away, Tanja Bartko returns to the Spreewald with her son Daniel and her new partner Holger Bingel. With the help of investors, an exclusive hotel complex is to be built on the inherited property. But the building permit is not granted. When the body of Tanja's lawyer is found after a court hearing and Holger has disappeared from the scene, the investigation against Tanja begins. Now Commissioner Krüger, of all people, who fell in love with Tanja years ago, has to investigate her involvement in the case. A challenge in many respects!
Episode 10: 13.11.2017 "Between death and life".
Knut Hellstein is standing in front of the door of Commissioner Krüger's caravan and asks for his help. Working in the energy industry, he has fallen into the wheelwork of their intrigues. But Krüger has to realise that Knut is not only a victim but also an accomplice.
Krüger promises to help Knut because he still feels personally guilty for not having prevented the tragic suicide of Knut's father, Karsten Hellstein, at the time. Before Krüger meets an important informant, an assassination attempt is made on him: his caravan is set on fire one night and burns out completely. Krüger can just be rescued from the flames by Fichte, but has to be put into an artificial coma.
9th episode: 13.02.2017 "Playing with Death"
Mandy and her boyfriend Georg die in an explosive attack in the Hochwald. The investigations, in which detective superintendent Krüger and police superintendent Fichte delve, increasingly point to Mandy's ex-boyfriend Timo. He cannot be found after the accident. Timo and his best friend Karl were stationed as soldiers in Afghanistan. Karl was killed during a mission, while Timo remained physically unharmed. However, he has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since.
8th episode: 23.11.2015 "The Storm Night"
Three film students disappear in the Hochwald. The young people wanted to make a film about the Spreewald based on a Sorbian legend and the unsolved disappearance of two women. Only their laptop, on which the filmed scenes are stored, remains behind. Only gradually can Krüger see through the staging of the three students.
Episode 7: 17.11.2014 "Die Tote im Weiher" (The dead woman in the pond)
When a dead woman is pulled out of a small lake in the Spreewald, everyone initially assumes suicide because the dead woman lost her daughter in a self-inflicted car accident years ago. But the autopsy shows that the woman ingested poisonous mushrooms. Inspector Krüger suspects the victim's psychologist of having carried out forbidden psycho-experiments on the woman.
Episode 6: 12.05.2014 "Murderous Heat"
It is high summer in the Spreewald when a man throws himself in front of a truck on a lonely country road. At the hospital, a lot of foreign blood is found on the man covered in blood, obviously the unconscious man has committed a crime. This time, Inspector Krüger is not looking for the perpetrator, but for the victim, and encounters some inconsistencies.
5th episode: 18.11.2013 "Feuerengel" (Angel of Fire)
Commissioner Krüger is finally about to leave the Spreewald when the body of Tim Engel, who was killed before the fire, is found in a burnt-out hotel. Little by little, the inspector encounters more and more contradictions. Especially the hotel owner and the victim's widow seem to be hiding something and behave more and more strangely.
4th episode: 01.10.2012 "A deadly legend".
Two deaths have occurred in and around Lübbenau Castle. While one dead man apparently drowned in a river while drunk, the other one supposedly died of heart failure in the hotel. But it soon turns out that the cause of death in both cases was snake venom.
3rd episode: 28.03.2011 "The Tears of the Fish".
Harry Ritter served 15 years in prison for murder during a robbery, now he returns to his home, the Spreewald, to secure the loot from back then and reconcile with his son Matthias. Matthias investigates a new murder case together with Inspector Krüger. When Matthias' young son is finally kidnapped, the two investigators are forced to join forces with Harry.
Episode 2: 26.10.2009 "The Dead Man in the Spreewald
The body of a young man is discovered in a barge on one of the rivers, caught in a beating iron. Detective Inspector Thorsten Krüger learns that the dead man's Sorbian family was upset because he did not take the traditions of the Sorbs seriously. Krüger falls in love with the widow and convicts the real culprit in a deadly duel in the moor.
1st episode: 06.11.2006 "The Secret in the Moor"
The episode focuses on Dr. Til Desno, who is supposed to identify a mummified corpse from the Spreewald moor by means of a facial reconstruction. In the end, it turns out that the body is a childhood friend of the doctor who is said to have betrayed him and others to the state security and then escaped to the West.