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Trilogy on life and work of Dr Ruth Pfau


“Who bears no tears...”


With this three-part video we want to make a detailed portrait of Sister Dr Ruth Pfau (1929 - 2017) available to all those who had got to know her and her life and work, with whom we feel connected and who want to continue to support her life's work together with us.

Those who had not met Dr Ruth Pfau personally can experience her here and be inspired by her, her team and her work.

The trilogy could only come into being because numerous contributors to film reports in recent decades had contributed to capturing the many facets of this unusual doctor and nun in statements and images. 

The “Mother of the Leprosy Patients” and “Sister Dr Ruth Pfau of Pakistan” will make their attitude, motives and strategies comprehensible to you in statements and descriptions. 

You will be able to meet her not only as a doctor and nun, but also as a manager and philosopher.


These three episodes were the result:

  1. As a Doctor in Pakistan
  2. Social Commitment
  3. Faith and Life

Each of the three parts is 30 minutes long. The documentaries contain video material from three decades, which has been prepared as well as possible for today's viewing expectations, but still sometimes cannot meet current quality standards.

The three videos can be viewed with German, Dutch, English, French and Spanish subtitles

DVD version of the trilogy will soon be available - also withsubtitles.

The trilogy can also be found on  YouTube

Activating and selecting subtitles 
Activating and selecting subtitles

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Activate subtitles: in the video footer with the button (1.).

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1. As a Doctor in Pakistan


We accompany Dr Pfau at her work in various regions and experience how she has managed to ensure the sustainability of leprosy control through specific supplementary programmes.

Duration: 29:59 – Subtitles can be switched on!


2. Social Commitment


In addition to the fight against leprosy – the exclusion of those affected by leprosy by their environment – Dr Pfau was committed to the equal and betterment of women in society. 

She has also been effective in helping refugees and victims of natural disasters.  

Duration: 29:35 – Subtitles can be switched on!


3. Faith and Life


How Dr Ruth Pfau was able to shape her life as self-determined as possible and what role her faith played in it is explained in the last episode of the series.

She expresses herself very privately and intensively about some aspects of her life that had become particularly important to her.

And she says goodbye with a final word, which she had recorded for us shortly before her death. 

Duration: 29:59 – Subtitles can be switched on!


About the author and producer

Martin Gertler accompanied Dr Pfau for two weeks in spring 1989 on her treatment and management appointments in various parts of Pakistan. 

He then produced several documentaries for DAHW and TV stations using the footage of his camera team. This way he could also use material for the trilogy that had been published so far. 

Several other producers and ZDF (German TV 2) also contributed recordings from their earlier productions to his now completed trilogy.

He has been a DAHW member and board member of the Ruth Pfau Foundation for many years. For more than thirty years he has supported media communication about DAHW's leprosy and tuberculosis work and above all about the life and work of Dr Ruth Pfau.




Lesen und verstehen... Stöbern Sie bei Interesse gern in unseren Buchempfehlungen.

Lesetipp: „die Schönheit des Helfens“



Neues aus Pakistan und aus den Netzwerken in Deutschland...

Dr. Ruth Pfau

...können Sie hier im Überblick finden.

Dr. Ruth Pfau († 2017), Lepraärztin und Ordensfrau, kannte Pakistan wie kaum ein anderer Europäer. 

Sie hatte dort seit mehr als fünfzig Jahren nach Kranken gesucht und erfolg­reich Hilfe geleistet.




Durch die Ruth-Pfau-Stiftung hat die von der DAHW finan­zierte Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe in Pakistan ein weiteres Standbein erhalten. 


Es ist der Wille der Namensgeberin, mit dieser Stiftung die über Jahrzehnte aufge­baute Arbeit in Pakistan zu sichern.




Dokumentationen berichten über ihr Leben und Wirken - unsere DVD-Angebote.


Einige Filme können Sie auch direkt hier online abrufen.