An introduction from "Sir Vival"
Rüdiger Nehberg on Wolfgang Brög
got to know Wolfgang as a documentary
film-maker. After the murder of
at the Blue Nile (1975) in Ethiopia, he
was the one who had no hesitation in joining me on the next
river tour (Omo River, Ethiopia) as a documentary film-maker.
The film was broadcast on prime-time TV, Bayerischer Rundfunk.
Wolfgang Brög documented my journey by paddle boat across the
Atlantic from my start in Senegal to my arrival in Brazil. Best
transmission time, ZDF. Then I often travelled with Wolfgang,
particularly in Brazil. There is no tributary of the Rio Negro
where we haven’t been. He succeeded in making a really
impressive reportage in Amazonia, where he revealed the true
identity of the alleged “chieftain” Tatunca Nara and proved that
the mysterious murders in his surroundings were actually the
work of this “great chieftain”: "Das Geheimnis des Tatunca Nara"
(The Mystery of Tatunca Nara). He also proved that the man was
in reality Hansi Richard Günter Hauck from the picturesque
Franconia in Bavaria. Prime time viewing in ARD, my book
Abenteuer Urwald (Adventure Jungle) – a top-notch thriller.
all, however, Wolfgang made the decisive film – partly with a
hidden camera – about the impending genocide of the Yanomami
Indians (Brazil). By means of an air lift, an army of 65,000
gold-hunters had invaded this sovereign territory of the last
great tribe (20,000 people) still living in accordance with
their primeval traditions. 400 planes, 120 illegal landing
strips: civil war staged under the cover of the rainforest. We
heard nothing about this in our world. The invasion was
perfectly organised – in mafia style – and was hushed up
completely by the upper echelons, including the President of the
Wolfgang and I mingled as gold-hunters among the gold-hunters,
we ran with the pack in order to document this utter disregard
of the Brazilian constitution. His film "Goldrausch in
Amazonien" (Gold Rush in Amazonia) was given a prime-time
viewing slot in ZDF. Green Peace bankrolled the distribution to
institutions and courageous channels throughout the world. It
was also shown in Brazil and exposed the crimes to the entire
world. It became a crucial milestone in the drama of the
salvation of the Yanomami. The fact that, after over 20 year of
civil war, they are finally able to live in peace, is due , not
least, to Wolfgang’s film.
most distinctive features are his powers of endurance as well as
his talent for organisation and improvisation. For him, as a
former extreme alpinist and mountain guide, no obstacle is
insurmountable. For an important film scene he never shies away
from climbing the highest jungle trees, working his way forward
from tree-top to tree-top, abseiling down into the deepest
ravines, plunging himself with a boat into torrential currents
or filming hostile regions from a motor-propelled paraglider. I
have never experienced that he let fear deter him from taking a
With regard to Brazil, his excellent linguistic skills are a
great asset. Not only does he speak perfect Portuguese and
Spanish, he also has a great ommand of the inexhaustible tricks
necessary to survive in nature, in dealing with the authorities
or the native population. Brazil and the Amazon region have
become his second home.
Infomation: Rüdiger Nehberg - in Germany well known as "Sir
Vival" - is Germany's most famous Adventurer. He wrote dozens of
books about his adventures, survival and human rights and
participated in many documentary films.