Esther Schapira

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Esther Schapira
Born (1961-01-23) January 23, 1961 (age 56)
Frankfurt, Germany
Occupation Journalist, filmmaker

Esther Schapira (born January 23, 1961 in Frankfurt) is a German journalist and filmmaker, currently politics and society editor at the German public television network, the Hessischer Rundfunk.[1]

Schapira is co-author of The Act of Alois Brunner, and producer of two award-winning documentaries, Drei Kugeln und ein totes Kind ("Three bullets and a dead child") (2002), about the death of Muhammad al-Durrah in Gaza in 2000, and Der Tag, als Theo van Gogh ermordet wurde ("The day Theo van Gogh was murdered") (2007), about the killing in 2004 of Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh. The latter won her and her co-producer, Kamil Taylan, a Prix Europa award.[2][3] In 2009, she produced a second documentary about the death of al-Durrah, Das Kind, Der Tod, und Die Wahrheit ("The Child, the Death, and the Truth").[4]


Schapira completed her Abitur at the Frankfurt Helmholtzschule in 1982, and went on to study German and English language and literature, as well as theatre, film and television. She has been the politics and society editor at the German public television network, the Hessischer Rundfunk, since 1995.


Schapira's awards include the Elisabeth-Selbert-Preis (1987), the Radio-, TV- und Neue-Medien-Preis (1995), the German Critics Prize (1996), and the Civis – Europas Medienpreis für Integration prize (2002). She won first prize twice at the International Festival Law and Society in Moscow, for Drei Kugeln und ein totes Kind and Der Tag, als Theo van Gogh ermordet wurde.[5][6] In 2007, she won the Buber-Rosenzweig-Medaille with Georg M. Hafner,[7] and a commendation during Prix Europa for the Theo van Gogh documentary.[3]

Death of Muhammad al-Durrah[edit]

Schapira has made two documentaries questioning the events surrounding the death of Muhammad al-Durrah in 2000, a Palestinian child reported to have been shot by Israeli soldiers. Schapira's first documentary hints that al-Durrah may have been shot by Palestinian gunmen however she has stated that she sees no proof of this.[citation needed] Her second suggested that two boys were killed in that area that day and that they may have been mixed up.[8]


  • with Hafner, Georg M. Die Akte Alois Brunner. Campus Sachbuch, Frankfurt 2000. ISBN 978-3-499-61316-6
  • with Hafner, Georg M. Israel ist an allem schuld. Warum der Judenstaat so gehasst wird. Eichborn, Köln 2015, ISBN 3-8479-0589-9


  • Weil ich ein Märtyrer sein will. Begegnung mit einem Terroristen, in: Robertson-von Trotha, Caroline Y. (ed.): Tod und Sterben in der Gegenwartsgesellschaft. Eine interdisziplinäre Auseinandersetzung (= Kulturwissenschaft interdisziplinär/Interdisciplinary Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 3), Baden-Baden 2008. ISBN 978-3-8329-3171-1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spiegel 13 November 2007
  2. ^ "Der Tag, als Theo van Gogh ermordet wurde", Hessischer Rundfunk, June 11, 2007, accessed October 21, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Schad, Isabel. "Wir sind zu naiv!" , hr-Fernsehen, November 8, 2007.
  4. ^ Das Kind, Der Tod, and die Wahrheit; ARD deckt Fälschung im Fall Mohammed Al-Durah auf, Hessischer Rundfunk, March 3, 2009.
  5. ^ 26. April Preis für hr-Dokumentation, hr–Chronik 2003.
  6. ^ hr-Doku in Moskau ausgezeichnet, press release, April 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Zwei hr-Journalisten werden mit Buber-Rosenzweig-Medaille geehrt, Hessischer Rundfunk, March 9, 2007.
  8. ^ Carvajal, Doreen. "The mysteries and passions of an iconic video frame", International Herald Tribune, February 7, 2005; also see Bild.

External links[edit]