Orphaned by the age of five,Heinz had to develop strength to deal with a foundation of vulnerability. The momentum was magical.When I asked him why he had to stand in the corner at school, he paused. With the world of a child written upon his face, he replied, "For laughing out loud!" Heinz was wonderful, impossible.People who understood this, adored him. Within impossible moments I would say, "All I can do is love you."  His mother had taught at the Leipzig Coservatory. Heinz had perfect pitch. Resting a telephone on top of a concert piano, he played for Artur Schnabel listening in England. Heinz was accepted as his student. In less than a month, an accident crippled his left hand and forearm. Music could have taken him away from Gestapo prison, Sachsen hausen Concentration Camp and a near death which left him sterile .        

 Doctors requesting to study his illness of polyneuritis gained Heinz contingent freedom. One evening he  went to the cinema on crutches. His elder brother, a flyer for the Luftwaffe ,was in the newsreel receiving a medal. The Fuhrer was pinning it on.A leading cinematographer gave Heinz a job as fourth cameraman then told a female director, she would never be alone with Heinz. Marrying a woman who needed him and raising two stepchild took him through the war. He traded two pairs of long underwear for a teddy bear. From standing in soup lines with cardboard in his shoes to standing in a hole during bombing raids, watching, lest their home caught on fire: Heinz kept goig placing himself last.

Hurrican Hazel, the subway and Heinz arrived in Toronto in 1954.Stringing a cable along the ceiling beams of Maple Leaf Gardens without a net was one of his first jobs at the CBC. Although it appeared he couldn't  go higher, ability and hard work resulted in Heinz becoming head of the LIghting department. It was Ross MacLean who suggested he direct documentaries. Heinz's second wife, Carol, agreed and once again he began at the bottom.

Diefenbaker was not amused when Heinz called him "Dief.". When searching for an abandoned farmhouse in rural Saskatchewan and people demanded, "What idiot drew this map?" he didn't dare reply, "The Prime Minister." In the cold of a prairie winter with a seemingly endless number to choose from, he and the cameraman made an agreement to film the next former homestead regardless. Heinz would laugh and describe the setting as perfect: the door blowing in the wind, snow falling inside. The story aired on "This Hour Has Seven Days". That same night Diefenbaker phoned Heinz to thank him, saying it was exactly as he remembered. Heinz would never have voted Conservative. He had done his best to respect childhood memories.

This Hour Has Seven Days ended and the BBC requested he work for them. Heinz sailed his boat Noa Noa that summer, then moved to London. He would return a few years later, most of his work in the "poison room", never to be shown. Heinz employed himself in carpentry work until retirement. The next two and a half decades he lived in a senior's co-op in Toronto's Annex, cycling to the age of 89. In 1984, during a labour shortage in Nicaragua, Heinz picked coffee and cotton twelve hours a day, seven days a week Young Germans kept him awake at night asking questions no one else would answer. Eventually, Heinz walked to the cemetery  and slept between the graves so he could work the following day.,

Heinz would travel each summer to the UK and Europe. Driving a yellow van he called"Marigold", he visited friends and relatives. In the south of France, he would have tea beside a field of lavender or sunflowers; his destination, a place where he would spend several days in solitude. Shortly before he died, Heinz spoke of sailing his boat alone at night. Living poetry.


Political survivor, member of the resistance, documentary film director, dear friend.
Born:August 30, 1916, in Leipzig, Germany.
Died:May 30, 2007, in Toronto,aged 90.