The Silent Revolution

The Silent Revolution, lit. "The Silent Classroom") is a 2018 German drama film directed by Lars Kraume. The film tells the story of a high school class in the communist German Democratic Republic, who have a moment of silence in their classroom for the victims of the failed anti-communist Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This small act of solidarity has unforeseen consequences, impacting the children, their parents and the school board. The film is based on a true story told in a book of the same name by Dietrich Garstka (1939–2018), one of the students.


In late 1956, prior to 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall, East German (GDR) high school students Kurt and Theo secretly go to the cinema in West Berlin. They watch a newsreel and learn of the Anti-communist Hungarian uprising. Back home in Stalinstadt, they convince some class members to visit the nearby home of Edgar, the great-uncle of one of the students, Paul. At Edgar's, the students listen to the radio station RIAS, broadcasting from West Berlin. While listening, they learn of the death of Ferenc Puskás, a Hungarian footballer adored by the students, which ultimately turns out to be misinformation, possibly intended to infuriate the protesters. Kurt manages to convince the majority of the class to hold a moment of silence for the victims in Hungary before class starts. This upsets their teacher, and student Erik tells him it is an act of protest. After once again meeting at Edgar's, the class takes a vote and decides to lie about what happened, and to say it was a moment of mourning for footballer Puskás.