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An Interview with Anja Jaenicke on Family, Autodidacticism, Work, Intelligence, and Guiding Lights (Part One)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/03/01


Anja Jaenicke is a German Poet and Actor. She discusses: family background, and family dynamics; autodidacticism; important professional capacities; intellectual development; discovery of high intelligence; nurturing in early life; development of intellectual interests and productions over time; taking part in the World Intelligence Network community; and important writers and speakers.

Keywords: Anja Jaenicke, Bertrand Russell, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Hofstadter, Phenomenon, poetry, Werner Herzog, WIN ONE, World Intelligence Network.

An Interview with Anja Jaenicke on Family, Autodidacticism, Work, Intelligence, and Guiding Lights: German Actor and Poet (Part One)[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is some familial background? How did this produce some of the family dynamics for you?

Anja Jaenicke: I was born in the formerly divided city of Berlin/West, Germany. My mother was a well-known film, theater and TV actress. When I was a child we often went to the Kurfürstendamm Boulevard where her name was written in golden letters above the entrance of a theater. People recognized her in the street and even tried to touch her, which, as a child, I found very scary. I did not particularly enjoy this kind of public fame. I was a very introverted child. I am still an introvert. When I was about five years old; I have been asked what I want to be when I grew up and I answered: “Unknown.” In primary school, I experienced an extreme anxiety because I have been bullied for being different. My father comes from a Greek family in Istanbul. He is a writer and author of lyrics. My family lives everywhere from Istanbul to London and Berlin. So I can say, “Yes.” My childhood had, indeed, a lot of family life dynamics. Due to the profession of my mother, we moved a lot. I spent more time with grown ups than with children my age. When I was three years old I appeared in my first movie, but I didn’t enjoy it and quit the shooting albeit the producer tried to bribe me with some special toys. I thought this profession was full of silly infantile people who tried to boost their ego personalities. I told the producer in my own words and left the set without the toys.

2. Jacobsen: What where some formal postsecondary academic qualifications earned by you if any? If so why those.

Jaenicke: I am an autodidact par excellence. In some ways I did everything earlier than others my age. I finished them earlier too. I had to! When I was ten years old, my mother became very ill; and we changed roles. I had to grow up fast and take care of her. I became her mother. I had to feed her, dress her, and because she didn’t have an agent at this time, negotiate her film and theater contracts, so that she was able to fulfill them. I had to make sure that she was on stage in time, so I accompanied her to the theater. In this time, I learned a lot of my later directing skills because I watched the same show over two hundred times. The other actors knew that I was in the audience and continuously asked me what they could do better or different. I answered things like: “Did you notice that nobody laughed at this or that gag? Hold your breath longer before you speak.” Sometimes I also joined the rehearsals in the morning sitting next to the director. All in all, I spent lots of time in the dust of the stage or played in the puddles on a film set. Unfortunately, in the following year, the illness of my mother worsened. I could not continue my school education. We moved constantly and I spent my days at home working myself through all the moving boxes with books from my mother’s former library. I read the interesting mixture of Shakespeare, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, Kant, Henry Miller, the diaries of Anais Nin, Bert Brecht, and Charles Bukowski. It must have been in this time that I started to question Kant’s a priori morals. I pulled together strings from my own eleven years of life experience and compared them with what I had read.

I questioned Kant by seeing events in the way film was made. You need many single cuts from different perspective angles to make a scene seem real. There could not be one a priori truth, but there had to be many and each one claims to be the absolute. I kept looking for answers and dived into mathematical philosophy. I read Bertrand Russell, who influenced my later years very much.

3. Jacobsen: What have been some important professional capacities for you?

Jaenicke: Well, I started my early career as an actress. I played my first lead role in the film “Das Heimkind.” A year later, I worked with the director Peter Lilienthal in the film “David.” By that time, I was officially recognized as gifted and excused from school by the German Minister of Education. I also performed in a Ballet company in Munich and played Shakespeare on stage. From there on, I received one offer after the other, mostly name over title roles. I worked with colleges like Goetz George, Franco Nero, Christoph Waltz, and many others. For the movie, “The Swing” about the youth of the writer and poet Annette Kolb. I have been awarded with the Bavarian Film Award. Later, I received the “BAMBI” and the “German Actors Award of the Federal Association of German Film and TV Directors.” All in all, I have participated in around a hundred film and television productions, When I was thirty, I stopped acting, became a professional dog musher, and took my twenty self bred and trained sled dogs on an expedition through the Canadian Arctic. After my return, I moved to a medieval Chateau in France and founded my own film developing company. Among others, I developed the motion picture: “Eagles Dance” and “The Perfect Job.” I wrote the script, directed, and played the female main role in the film “The Mirror Image of Being,” which was developed after my own novel. I was the writer, director, and producer of the documentary film “Lucky Me.” I wrote eight lyric books, a novel, a couple of short stories and many screenplays. I appeared as a guest writer in several other books I am also a published author of “Leonardo Magazine”, “City Connect Magazine- Cambridge”, “WIN One” and “Genius Journal” For my creative work, I have been honored with the Distinguished Visionary of the Year Award 2018 and the Genius of the Year Award 2019 by the VedIQ Guild Foundation. And I recently published two books about an insane penguin called Werner.

4. Jacobsen: Following from the previous two questions, how have those professional capacities and postsecondary academic qualifications helped intellectual and skill development for you?

Jaenicke: Oddly I perceive your question the other way around, but, maybe, that is the price for being an artist. My intellectual capacity has helped to pursue my artistic work of creating. I think the pure joy of creation shaped my mind and helped me to achieve academic qualifications. This is why I see myself as a Thinker cum Arte.

5. Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Jaenicke: Somehow, I was a strange kid. I loved learning. I started to speak full sentences very early. I did so continuously. I talked and talked. Also, I became a rather silent child in later years. Maybe, I had the feeling that the talking straights out the many confusing questions I had.

My grandmother notoriously claimed that she has never, never told a single lie in her entire life. I started to ask myself what “never” meant and if “never” can ever be? I guess this was the moment where my interest in the miracles of the universe have been born. I started to teach myself how to read and write because I was too impatient to wait for school. My mother gave me some French children’s books. I started to read them all. At that time, I did not notice that I read in a foreign language. I just kept reading and filled the gaps with the illustrations of the book. After we have been on a holiday to Italy. I started to speak Italian quite fluently. I had never learned the language. I was still in diapers, but I understood and spoke perfectly. Until now, I have no explanation for that. In some way, it was a hindrance too because I never developed the right attitude to learn a language from school books or structured courses. It needed a lot of discipline in later years, but I finally got over it. My mother decided that I should enter school early, but, at this time, there was no way in Germany to do so. Finally, she got me into first grade public school. It was the greatest disappointment ever. I desperately wanted to learn and couldn’t wait to go to school and meet all the other kids of whom I thought they might have the same intention as I have, but, unfortunately, it turned out that they were a bunch of noisy idiots with sticky hands. I had to sit still in a stinky classroom and bore myself to death while the others practiced how to draw a straight line. The teacher forced me to write three pages of As, Bs, and Cs. I remember becoming very furious. I cried until they sent me home. It was decided that I should take an IQ test because teachers thought I might be overwhelmed by school and not quite ripe for it. I remember sitting in a room with a lady who called herself “Aunty.” I was very nervous; I didn’t want to make mistakes in the test. The test result turned out as a surprise and catapulted me right into second grade. Finally, I was allowed to write real words and I loved math. I had a wonderful little teacher, Miss Hoffmann. I loved to discuss numbers with her. A couple of years later, when I quit school, which officially was not allowed in Germany, I had to repeat IQ testing. I didn’t like these supervised tests. I felt a bit like a mouse in a laboratory. Much later, I took IQ tests by Nathan Haselbauer [Ed. Founder of the International High IQ Society, deceased by his own hand.] and Jason Betts. But I think that IQ testing is not an end in itself. Much more important is what you make out of it.

6. Jacobsen: How was this nurtured in an early life?

Jaenicke: As a single child growing up with a single parent I had many so called grown up talks with my mother from early age on. I never felt happy with other children and I spent much time alone. I loved it as I do today. I never feel lonely when I am alone. I think one big component in my early life was that I was forced to adapt frequently, to watch people and situations and to process circumstances fast. When I was fourteen, my mother got an offer for the TV series “Holocaust.” I joined her and made my math homework at the film set, which ended in discussing Dirichlet boundaries with the actor James Woods (IQ 185). He got so excited over it that he wrote notes on my math paper and I rewrote the paper together with him. For this paper, I got the worst grade in my whole school career. Obviously, my teacher didn’t understand the thought processes of James Woods.

7. Jacobsen: How did you develop intellectual interests and productions over time into the present, in adulthood?

Jaenicke: I am creative but I do not feel very adult. Although, as a renaissance person, I might be very old.

8. Jacobsen: How did you find WIN? How did this become taking part in WIN ONE & Phenomenon community?

Jaenicke: I entered WIN a couple of years ago. I am a member of about twenty-five High IQ societies, among others the Poetic Genius Society in which I used to be very active. I also wrote for Leonardo Magazine. From that time, I know Graham Powell who asked me if I want to write for WIN ONE and so I did.

9. Jacobsen: Who have been some important writers and speakers in your life as guiding lights or signposts as to what is meaningful and important to you.

Jaenicke: I think Bertrand Russell is important to me, Wittgenstein in some way and, of course, Douglas Hofstadter. But also Charles Chaplin and the director Werner Herzog who is the inspiration for my insane penguin Werner.

© for the answers by Anja Jaenicke 2020

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] German Poet and Actress; CEO, HIQ-MEDIA-POOL INC.; Member, Poetic Genius Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 1, 2020:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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