SPK Complex

In 1970, Dr. Wolfgang Huber and a group of patients founded the anti-psychiatric "Socialist Patient's Collective" in Heidelberg. Controversial therapy methods, political demands, and a massive interest in the movement from patients deeply distrustful of convention "custodial psychiatry," led to run-ins with the University of Heidelberg and local authorities.  The conflict quickly escalated and resulted in the radicalization of the SPK. Their experiment in group therapy ultimately ended in arrests, prison, and the revocation of Huber's license to practice medicine.

From a historical perspective, the SPK court cases seem to anticipate the Stammheim trials, with the exclusion of defense attorneys, the total non-compliance of the defendants, and harsh penalties for both Huber and his wife. The severity of the sentences handed down appears hardly proportional to the actual deeds of the accused. The allegation of having supported the militant Red Army Faction (aka the Baader-Meinhof Group), and thus of being complicit in their terrorism, still clings to the SPK and overlies what the movement was originally about: the rights of psychiatric patients, resistance, and self-empowerment - issues that are still relevant today.

SPK COMPLEX focuses on the untold story of events before the "German Autumn" and their consequences up to the present day. A story of insanity, public perception, and (un)avoidable violence.

"An intriguing, enlightening documentarySPK Complex provides an eye-opening revelation of a significant moment in political history." The Upcoming

"An astute and calm work of art." Der Tagesspiegel

"A precise picture of the social climate in Germany shortly before the German Autumn." RBB Radio 1
"Rarely have we had such an up close and personal account of how Germany can make you go mad." Spiegel Online


Main credits

Kroske, Gerd (film director)
Kroske, Gerd (screenwriter)
Hartthaler, Fritz (film producer)
Baumert, Rainer (film producer)

Other credits

Kamera, Susanne Schüle, Anne Misselwitz; montage, Olaf Voigtländer, Stephan Krumbeigel; Komponisten, Milena Kipfmüller & Klaus Janek.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Medical Ethics
Mental Health
Human Rights


"SPK Complex"; Docuseek2; Wolfgang Huber; socialist patients collective; SPK; psychiatry; German Autumn;

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