Moderator Rudi Cerne: 'I'm a cautious person'

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Writed by - Andy Gocker
  Moderator Rudi Cerne:"Ich bin ein vorsichtiger Mensch"
Rudi Cerne will moderate the program 'XY-Prize - Together Against Crime' on Thursday. © ZDF/Jule Roehr., SpotOn

Expert advice is important to him

Rudi Cerne (64) will lead through the 21st edition of the 'XY Prize - Together Against Crime' on Thursday (November 24th) (8:15 p.m., ZDF). As part of the program, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (52), as patron, will honor a total of three people or groups in the ZDF capital city studio for their courageous and exemplary actions. The 'Aktenzeichen XY … unsolved' moderator himself has 'never gotten into a precarious situation,' as he says in an interview with the news agency spot on news. Among other things, he revealed how he protects his house from burglars.

You have been moderating 'Aktenzeichen XY... unsolved' for 20 years. How much do you touch the sometimes very dramatic cases?

Rudi Cerne: You don't just hang the cases back in the closet like a suit after the show. They'll keep me busy for a while - especially when children are victims of crime. Because they don't stand a chance, as the tragic story of Levke, an eight-year-old girl from Cuxhaven, shows. She was met at the front door and lured into the car by a sex offender. He abused and killed her. We filmed the case on our show. The little actress looked confusingly similar to the victim. That was very touching and emotional.

How do you keep the falls from getting too close to you?

Cerne: I took the investigators' advice to heart not to let everything get too close to me. Otherwise you really can't sleep. However, I must also say that I am of course not that close to these cases. I'm not at a crime scene or in an investigation room. In addition, you produce adrenaline in a 90-minute live broadcast and are wide awake for a few hours afterwards. That's why I'm happy when it's all over and I can look to the next show with fresh eyes.

How has your private life changed as a result of the show?

Cerne: Nothing has changed. I'm a cautious person by nature and the show only confirmed my caution. Nevertheless, I am not afraid: fear can sometimes be paralyzing. I got to know that as a competitive athlete. If you're afraid of the triple axel, then that's practically the fall with the announcement. You have to approach the jumps and difficulties with a certain confidence. And I think that's the same in real life.

What do you do to feel safe at home?

Cerne: On the advice of an investigator, I contacted the police prevention department. It's free in various states. A commissioner came to our house and checked everything for weak points. I followed his advice and had burglar-proof windows installed, for example. However, there is a very simple piece of advice if, like me, you have a small garden with a hedge, so that the neighbors cannot look in. Then said neighbor cannot see when a burglar gets in. It is therefore better to keep the hedge a little lower for a clear field of vision. An attentive neighborhood is very important. A good alarm system, which I unfortunately do not have, is a dog.

You have had a podcast with Conny Neumeyer since September. You say it's an affair of the heart for you. How is working on the podcast different from working on the show?

Cerne: The TV show 'Aktenzeichen XY... unsolved' is basically the extended arm of the criminal police. Public investigation is a very tried and tested means. In the podcast 'Aktenzeichen XY... Unforgotten Crimes' we deal with cases from the past 55 years. In this way, we can dive into unsolved, but also solved cases exclusively with investigators. I'm really amazed at how detailed they still have knowledge about cases that sometimes go back decades. In the podcast we can again examine a case very intensively and look at the exciting investigative work.

How do you frustrate unsolved cases?

Cerne: I always find it amazing how persistent investigators are. Murder never expires, we know that. That's why they often deal with a case again with a completely new special commission. That's a fresh look then. It's not frustrating. That would mean the glass is half empty. I think like the investigators: We always look at a glass that is half full and hope dies last.

What case has stuck with you so much that you would like to present its solution during your career?

Cerne: First, the case of Madeleine McCann. The little girl had disappeared in Portugal at the time. The parents then came to our studio. The case touched me deeply. The parents do not give up: their father said at the time that as long as there was no proof that his child was dead, he had the right to hope. That's why I keep hoping.

True crime has grown in popularity in recent years. How do you explain that?

Cerne: That's right, we're currently experiencing a renaissance. Maybe it's because 'Aktenzeichen' has gained new impetus. Many editors have taken this as an example and are now trying to achieve good ratings in this way. And that's just as well. Because if we all pull together to solve crimes, that only helps the investigators.

And you remain the original...

Cerne: (laughs) I personally owe that to the inventor of 'Aktenzeichen' Eduard Zimmermann and Hans Janke, who was then deputy program director at ZDF and head of television games. Both of them chose me to host the show.

The XY Prize for Civil Courage will be awarded again soon. In which situation have you had to show moral courage yourself?

Cerne: I've never been in a sticky situation and I've never been in a situation where I had to intervene. I don't know how I would react. Every person is different. We experience that again and again in these situations.

It is often not the best thing to rashly enter a dangerous situation. What is your advice to witnesses to a crime?

Cerne: A man was awarded the XY prize who was sitting in a coffee shop when a man armed with an ax burst in and started to beat a woman. The laureate pushed him back with a chair like a lion tamer or tamer. He prevented the worst and even protected himself with the chair. That was heroic. Other people continued to drink their coffee and eat their cake. I don't know how I would react. But the minimum is to dial 110.

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