• Peter Lohmeyer as Manfred Krug
  • Karoline Eichhorn as Ottilie pitcher
  • Peter Donath as Manfred Salow
  • Ann -Kathrin Kramer Erika Salow
  • Uwe Kockisch as Jurek Becker
  • Jürgen Hentsch as Stefan Heym
  • Ulrich Matthes as Eberhard Esche
  • Hermann Beyer Frank Beyer as
  • Thomas Dehler as Ulrich Plenzdorf
  • Viktor Deiß as Henry Adameck
  • Manfred Gorr as Gerhard Wolf
  • Matthias Günther as Klaus Schlesinger
  • Günter Junghans as Hans -Joachim Hoffmann
  • Karl Kranzkowski as Heiner Müller
  • Ute Lubosch as Christa Wolf
  • Thomas Neumann as Eberhard Heinrich
  • Gunter lap as Hans Dieter Mäde
  • Franziska Troegner as Danielle C
  • Reed Alexander as Lieutenant
  • Gabrielle Scharnitzky as Comrade Krause
  • Christiane Heinrich as Angelika Domröse
  • Martin Seifert as Hilmar Thate
  • Klaus Mertens interior as head of affairs
  • Svetlana Schönfeld as Barbara Dittus

Runaways is a documentary, German TV film directed by Frank Beyer from the year 1998. According to the diaries of the actor Manfred Krug he describes actual events that followed on the expatriation of songwriter Wolf Biermann from the GDR.


On 20 November 1976, three days after the expatriation of Biermann, a group of intellectuals and artists gathered at the home of Manfred Krug to discuss with senior functionaries of the SED. The group consists of the signers of a protest letter to the Politburo of the SED, which demand the return of expatriation. It includes writers such as Jurek Becker, Christa Wolf, Stefan Hermlin, Stefan Heym and Heiner Müller, actors like Hilmar Thate and Angelika Domröse and other known artists from the GDR, among them Frank Beyer and Ulrich Plenzdorf also the director and the screenwriter of the film. Its first part documents the discussion in the house of Manfred Krug that he has secretly taken with a tape recorder: The high-level party secretary Werner Lamberz and his companions want to achieve in the conversation distancing the group from their own petition - spread by Western media - in the DDR now causing quite a stir.

The second part of the film deals with the consequences that had the letter for the life of the signatories - exemplified in the experiences Manfred Krug. He is assigned according to the debate and refusal to withdraw his signature to the letter with an unofficial prohibition. It therefore decides to make an application to emigrate with his family. Thus begins a week- long psychological war of the state against Krug's family, who eventually ends with their departure to West Berlin.


  • Lexicon of international film: An intense, commonly located between document and careful staging television film, which focuses entirely on the wordy debates and disputes and little external action a great deal of attention to the variety of important information and facts presupposes. Only at the very end, Frank Beyer and Manfred Krug allow emotionalising, very touching private comment to otherwise objectively laconic treatment of this important German - German chapter.


Frank Beyer was awarded for his film in 1999 with the Adolf Grimme Prize.