At 1959, the People's Police notices a strange occurrence: the local demand for optical instruments increases, while the orders from abroad sharply decrease. Several detectives launch an investigation, revealing that a West German criminal named Hasso Teschendorf has been forging documents and using them to illegally obtain the goods, which he sold to the Spanish Army and to customers in Barcelona. After a long hunt, the smuggler is arrested just before he manages to flee to West Berlin.
Wilfried Ortmann as Hasso Teschendorf
Fritz Diez as Captain Gerner
Werner Dissel as doorman
Peter Sturm as Mr. Dupont
Gerd Michael Henneberg as businessman
Manfred Krug as smuggler
Eva-Maria Hagen as Marion Stöckel
Hanna Rimkus as Sabine Falk
Hartmut Reck as Schellenberg
Heinz-Dieter Knaup as Hasselbach
Ivan Malré as Bob Georgi
Carola Braunbock as Charlotte Gansauge
Dom de Beern as inspector
Albert Garbe as Bachmann
Herbert Grünbaum as Rösli
Hubert Hoelzke as customer
Walter Jupé as Erwin
At 1957, the West German criminal Hasso Schützendorf organized a complex fraud: his partners, using forged documents, managed to take possession on the entire stock of optical instruments produced by the Zeiss factory in Jena, East Germany. He sold them to clients in Barcelona. Schützendorf managed to escape justice, settling in Spain, where he lived as a rich man until his death at 2003. The film Ware fur Katalonien was loosely based on this incident, although the villain "Hasso Teschendorf" was caught in the end.
Director Richard Groschopp was awarded the Art Prize of the German Democratic Republic in 1959 for his work on the film. He later received a letter from Schützendorf, who wrote him "Dear Groschopp, please be more realistic next time... Arresting me just before reaching the Brandenburg Gate? Are you that deluded?"
The German film lexicon described the picture as "a well-made crime film, with notably good acting."