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Gunter Wallraff, journalist

Updated on October 28, 2012

To Wallraff is a verb now!

Wallraff would construct a fictional identity so that he was not recognisable as a journalist. In this way, he created books which denounce what he considers to be social injustices and which try to provide readers with new insights into the way in which society works. It is interesting to note that in Swedish we have a new word - a verb - to walraff. That means to disguise yourself and mingle publicly as a journalist.

A Movie about Gunter Wallraffs story - in the magazine business

This is a nicely done suspense flick about a german journalist trying to expose the sensationalism of Europe's largest media publication.Based on a true story,it's a must see!!

Man Inside [VHS]
Man Inside [VHS]

# Writers: Bobby Roth, G´┐Żnter Wallraff


He is a master of disguise

Some of his work:

Wallraff first described what he experienced when acting the parts of an alcoholic, a homeless person, and a worker in a chemicals factory.

He travelled to Greece at the time of the Ioannides dictatorship. While in Syntagma Square, he protested against human right violations. He was arrested and tortured by the police, as he did not carry, on purpose, any papers on him that could identify him as a foreigner. After his identity was revealed, Wallraff was convicted and sentenced to 14 months in jail.

Wallraff's was posing as a Turkish guest worker, and the mistreatment he received in that role at the hands of employers, landlords and the German government.

Wallraff worked for four months as an editor for the tabloid Bild-Zeitung newspaper in Hanover, calling himself "Hans Esser". In his books Der Aufmacher ("Lead Story") and Zeugen der Anklage ("Witnesses for the Prosecution") he portrays his experiences on the editorial staff of the paper and the journalism which he encountered there, which at times displayed contempt for humanity.

In May 2007, Wallraff announced that he had started yet another undercover journalist work, this time at a German call centre.

Autumn 2009, he stunted with a controversial undercover story as a black man to expose latent or explicit racism.

Write a comment or your own experiance of injustice. Gunter Walraff has been working hiw whole life with that.

Did you know about Gunter Walraff? - tell me

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    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Gunter Walraff is a very interesting man. Imagine what people do to get to the truth.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 7 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      I can't believe I hadn't heard of this man or his writings. They really sound fascinating!

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 7 years ago

      Yes, I know about Gunter Wallraff and I like the stories he discovered. A great lens, I didn't know that Walraff is known so well outside of Germany.