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DocFilm

My Mother, the Manchurian Princess

Theodor Heinrichsohn had a very unusual childhood and youth. The son of a Manchurian princess and a German missionary, he is the oldest surviving person from the German community in Shanghai.

10.03.2016 DW Feature Meine Mutter die mandschurische Prinzessin 6

Theodor Heinrichsohn in search of his past. He went to school in Shanghai.

He had to perform the ritual kowtow in front of his own mother at New Year and he learned Chinese ghost stories from his nanny. Theodor Heinrichsohn, known to all as Teddy, was born in 1930 in Changsha, northern China. He was sent to the German boarding school in Shanghai in 1941 to learn western conventions.


10.03.2016 DW Feature Meine Mutter die mandschurische Prinzessin 5

In 1953 Mao established his hold on China and two years later Heinrichsohn was expelled.

The Nazi ideology in distant Germany also reached parts of the German community and Teddy experienced how Shanghai was increasingly affected by the war. As a teenager he moved to the American school. While studying for his high school diploma in 1949, the communist Mao troops conquered the city. Because he wasn’t of Chinese nationality, Heinrichsohn was expelled in 1955, one year after his father. His mother was not allowed to leave China and Heinrichsohn never saw her again.

10.03.2016 DW Feature Meine Mutter die mandschurische Prinzessin 12

Teddy Heinrichsohn set up home in West Germany and had a successful career with Bayer AG. He is now retired and lives in Leverkusen.

Many decades later Heinrichsohn returned to Shanghai to visit the places of his childhood and youth. This film documents the exciting memories of an exotic, lively and dramatic period during which Teddy Heinrichsohn suffered because he wasn’t Chinese enough for his mother, while leading figures in the German Kaiser Wilhelm School in Shanghai, who had Nazi sympathies, felt he wasn’t German enough.




Broadcasting Hours:

DW


SUN 20.03.2016 – 19:15 UTC
MON 21.03.2016 – 01:15 UTC
MON 21.03.2016 – 15:15 UTC
WED 23.03.2016 – 05:15 UTC

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THU 31.03.2016 – 03:15 UTC
SUN 03.04.2016 – 09:15 UTC

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Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
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DW (Amerika)

MON 21.03.2016 – 09:15 UTC

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