For the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, we have made a part of German history come alive: After World War II, the still young Federal Republic offered so-called “Wiedergutmachungszahlungen” (reparation payments) to victims and persecutees of the Nazi regime. As part of the elaborately produced podcast Sprechende Akten (which means Speaking Files), five individual case files of reparations were selected.

In each episode, we use audio play-like sequences to retell the story of the victims, tracing their backgrounds, their social contacts, the suffering they experienced under the Nazi regime, and the sometimes very time-consuming and grueling process of reparations. In the process, it becomes clear that National Socialist injustice cannot be “made good” in any way.

We were responsible for the complete conception and implementation of the podcast. The challenge here was to tell a story from the individual case files, some of which contained up to 700 documents, that would depict the process in a way that was understandable and as close to reality as possible, while at the same time being entertaining for the listeners.

Michael Viol directed the dialog and implemented the recordings, sound design and mixing.

To meet this task, we worked with scriptwriter Nilz Bokelberg, who brought each individual to life with attention to detail. Michael Viol, who already realized the audio production of the Spotify Original Batman Unter Toten, then gave the individual stories an acoustic home.

“The books are very vividly written. When I first read them, the stories were already running along in my head pretty much as they are heard today. I just had to recreate that.”

Audio engineer Falk Andreas composed the musical theme for speaking acts

As narrator, Ulrike Kapfer guides us through the fates of the individual characters. For the other roles, we worked with 25 actors. The music composed by Falk Andreas was also created especially for Sprechende Akten.

Today the first of five episodes Sprechende Akten has been released on the podcast portals, each week another episode will be released.