The Titanic star returned to Studio Babelsberg where the film was made in 2007 for the star-studded Bambi Award ceremony, where she won the Best International Actress prize.
Winslet, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of a former concentration camp guard in the 2008 drama, paid tribute to the film's German cast and crew - admitting she fell in love with the country during the shoot.
She said, "They had a really wonderful sense of humour even in the face of some brutal filming hours... Ever since we made The Reader I'm always trying to find ways to come back to Germany - it was special."
Austrian-born Inglourious Basterds star Christoph Waltz took home the Best International Actor prize - and kept his acceptance speech short, on the advice of his partner.
He joked, "I wanted to say something intelligent but my wife said, 'Is that really necessary?' I told her I (have to) give some kind of thank you speech and she said, 'Keep it short and they'll all thank you later.'"
Colombian pop star Shakira was the night's top music winner - she was crowned Best International Pop Artist, before showing off her talents by bending over backwards to play the drums during new track Did It Again.