24 Jul 2014

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden

From Nine To Noon, 10:05 am on 24 July 2014

The real life murder mystery surrounding a group of Germans who tried to make an uninhabited Galapagos island their own utopia in the 1930s.

Freidrich Ritter and Dore Strauch

Freidrich Ritter and Dore Strauch Photo: Zeitgeist Films

They wanted to create a free love utopia on an uninhabited Galapagos island. But things went wrong quickly.

It was the 1930s and Berlin physician Freidrich Ritter and his lover Dore Strauch moved to the island of Floreana.

They envisioned a paradise of solitude and subsistence living.... but instead the world got wind of "The Adam and Eve of the Galapagos", and they were soon joined by more people looking to join the quest for a new Eden.

The Wittmer family arrived, along with Austrian Baroness Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet, accompanied by her two young German lovers.

Baroness Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet and her two young lovers

The Baroness and her two young lovers Photo: Zeitgeist Films

What followed were personality clashes and a struggle to survive in a harsh environment. By 1934 three people were dead and two were missing - a mystery that has still not been solved to this day.

Filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller found out about the island's unusual history on a visit to the Galapagos for another project. They then unearthed home movies taken on the island, using them as a basis for their film The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden, which is screening at The New Zealand International Film Festival.

Gallery: Galapagos Affair

 

Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller talk about The Galapagos Affair on Nine to Noon.