Headed home to die. GDR sports reporter legend Heinz Florian Oertel is dead. On his 95th birthday on December 11, well-wishers should no longer appear at his house in Berlin-Schönholz. At the beginning of the year, Heinz Florian Oertel’s state of health deteriorated abruptly. His wife Hannelore had to transfer him to the clinic.
However, the doctors released him a little later. It went back to the family to die. According to information from BILD, he fell asleep there peacefully on March 27th.
Oertel reported on 17 (!) Olympic Games (from 1952 in Helsinki) and eight World Cups. But he was never above moderating even small events. “It was May 15, 1976 when he opened the Kiebitzberge swimming pool in Kleinmachnow near Potsdam,” remembers actress Anne Kasprik.
After hip surgery in 2017, he found it difficult to walk. In recent months, Oertel has not been able to leave the house. “He just lay in his room, but watched a lot of television – especially sports programs,” says a friend.
Heinz-Florian Oertel spoke his most famous words as a sports reporter on August 1, 1980: “Call your newcomers Waldemar,” he cheered into the microphone of GDR television, while marathon runner Waldemar Cierpinski (today 71) won his second Olympic victory in Moscow. However, it is not known whether parents followed the request.
But Oertel (from 1946 to 1989 a member of the SED) was not just a television reporter. He also worked as a newspaper journalist, entertainer, actor. From 1969 to 1990 he interviewed celebrities from culture, politics, business and of course sports in 245 episodes of “Portrait by Telephone”.
From 1946 to 1948 he acted in the theater in his native town of Cottbus, after which he became a teacher of German and history. In 1949 he went to East German radio. From 1955 he worked at the same time for GDR television. In 1981 he received his doctorate from the Karl Marx University in Leipzig.
The Ministry for State Security took notice of him and listed him as a “social employee” (code name: “Heinz”). But he never signed a Stasi declaration of commitment.
After the reunification it became quiet around Oertel. As a lecturer at the Universities of Berlin and Göttingen, he earned a few marks as well. The sympathetic moderator suffered the worst stroke of fate in January 2008. His daughter Annette (dramaturgist) died of cancer at the age of only 43.
A few years ago, Oertel bought the grave site next to her in the cemetery on Hermann-Hesse-Strasse in Berlin-Pankow. There he is buried in silence in the close family circle.