Eyewitnesses

Prisoners of the Forties and Fifties

Arno Drefke

Arno Drefke

He was arrested by the Ministry of State Security (Stasi) at the age of 19. To biography
Horst Jaenichen

Horst Jänichen

He was arrested several times by the communists, the first of which was at the age of 15. To biography
Peter Ruegg

Peter Rüegg

The former border patrol officer underwent Stasi detention at the end of the 1950s for criticising the communist government. To biography

Prisoners of the Sixties

Dellmuth Rainer

Rainer Dellmuth

He was arrested and convicted several times for trying to escape the GDR. To biography
Dieter Drewitz

Dieter Drewitz

He was imprisoned at the age of 23 for contacting a West Berlin radio station. To biography
Ulrich Ebert

Ulrich Ebert

As a university student he was arrested after labelling the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring an invasion. To biography
Hildebrandt Lutz

Lutz Hildebrandt

He was arrested after tearing apart an election poster for the ruling communist party. To biography
Erhard Neubert

Erhard Neubert

The confectioner was arrested in 1964 after an attempted escape to West Germany. To biography
Hartmut Richter

Hartmut Richter

He was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment after helping several people escape to West Berlin. To biography
Karl Heinz Richter

Karl-Heinz Richter

At the age of 18, he tried to escape to West Berlin by jumping on a train at the Berlin-Friedrichstrasse station. To biography
Scheidler Hans Jochen

Hans-Jochen Scheidler

The physicist protested the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, for which he was arrested by the Stasi. To biography
Dieter Walter

Dieter Walter

As school student, he was arrested by the Stasi after being informed on by his teachers. To biography
Dieter von Wichmann

Dieter von Wichmann

The sound engineer attempted to escape in 1963. After 15 months spent in prison, he was ransomed by West Germany. To biography

Prisoners of the Seventies

Hans Juergen Breitbarth

Hans-Jürgen Breitbarth

The carpenter was arrested twice, once in 1976 and once in 1977, for planning to escape East Germany. To biography
Siegmar Faust

Siegmar Faust

The writer was arrested several times because of his critical viewpoint towards the GDR. To biography
Reinhard Fuhrmann

Reinhard Fuhrmann

After his forced ex-matriculation from the University of Jena, he tried to escape East Germany via Bulgaria. He was arrested and detained at the Stasi prison Gera. To biography
Carlo Jordan

Dr. Carlo Jordan

The civil-rights activist and dissident was arrested several times. To biography
Kuerschner Joerg

Dr. Jörg Kürschner

The jurist from West Germany was arrested in 1979 for smuggling forbidden literature into the East. To biography
Friedemann Koerner

Friedemann Körner

The tenor was arrested with his wife after a friend attempted to flee to the West. To biography
Quasdorf Gisela

Gisela Quasdorf

She tried to escape in 1978 via Czechoslovakia. The attempt failed. To biography
Edda Schoenherz

Edda Schönherz

The well-known TV presenter was arrested by the Stasi because she visited the West German embassy in Budapest. To biography
Lothar Schulz

Lothar Schulz

The engineer was arrested by the Stasi in the late 1970s because of posters he had made. To biography
Warnke Wolfgang

Wolfgang Warnke

The West German citizen tried to help two East Germans flee via Bulgaria in 1975, but the attempt was not successful. To biography
Portraet Stellvertreter

Gerd Zimmermann

The production manager of the German Film Association of the GDR (DEFA) attempted to escape with a colleague to Greece through Bulgaria in 1975. To biography

Prisoners of the Eighties

Arndt Wolfgang

Wolfgang Arndt

The construction worker tried to flee the GDR after several requests to legally leave the country were rejected. To biography
Michael Bradler

Michael Bradler

The mechanic repeatedly requested to live in West Germany with his grandparents. He was arrested by the Stasi in 1982. To biography
Mike Froehnel

Mike Fröhnel

He was contacted by the East German secret police beginning at a young age. To biography
Furian Gilbert

Gilbert Furian

He was arrested in 1985 for conducting interviews with East Berlin punks, which he wanted to publish in the West. To biography
Jorge Garcia Vazques

Jorge Luís García Vázquez

The interpreter refused the Stasi's request that he spy on a musician from Cuba, leading to his arrest. To biography
Siggi Gruenewald

Siggi Grünewald

The West German citizen tried to help her fiancé from the GDR escape to West Berlin. Her attempt failed. To biography
Peter Keup

Peter Keup

The successful competitive dancer was imprisoned in 1981 after a failed attempt to escape the GDR. To biography
Kranz Rolf web

Rolf Kranz

On a day visit to East Berlin, the West German citizen gave a man from the GDR his passport in order to facilitate his escape from East Germany. To biography
Krebs Norbert

Norbert Krebs

In May 1989, he protested the fake local elections in the GDR and was subsequently arrested by the Stasi. To biography
Ret Langmeier

Ret Langmeier

The musician and artist was arrested after planning an exhibition about the Solidarność movement in Poland. To biography
Lengsfeld Vera

Vera Lengsfeld

The politician was one of the leading figures of the East German civil rights movement. To biography
Henry Leuschner

Henry Leuschner

He was seriously injured by a spring-gun in 1981 while attempting to escape across the border to West Germany. To biography
Portraet Stellvertreter

Hans-Joachim Lietsche

In the 1980s, he distributed leaflets with his church youth group. To biography
Andreas Mehlstaeubl

Andreas Mehlstäubl

The sailor tried to escape to the West in 1987, but the Stasi arrested him. To biography
Michael Naue

Michael Naue

At 20 years old, his escape from the GDR via Hungary failed. To biography
Thomas Raufeisen

Thomas Raufeisen

The son of a GDR spy was arrested after an attempt to flee to West Germany. To biography
Mario Roellig

Mario Röllig

At the age of 19, the restaurant manager tried to escape via Hungary to Yugoslavia. The escape failed. To biography
Wolfgang Rueddenklau

Wolfgang Rüddenklau

The youth representative and dissident was one of the co-founders of the environment library in East Berlin. To biography
Torsten Rupnow

Torsten Rupnow

The trained chef pretended to have planned an escape from the GDR to the West via the Baltic Sea. To biography
Harry Santos

Harry Santos

The artist planned to escape to West Germany in 1982 but was betrayed by his girlfriend. To biography
Monika Schneider

Monika Schneider

After a failed attempt to flee East Germany via Prague, she was imprisoned by the Stasi. Contacting her children was forbidden. To biography
Hansjuerg Deschner

Hansjürg Schößler

The civil-rights activist was arrested several times for campaigning for environmental and peace movements. To biography
Hans Schulze

Hans Schulze

The businessman from West Berlin was arrested by the Stasi after his attempt to help a woman from the GDR escape. To biography
Marita Ulbricht

Marita Ulbricht

She tried to flee to the West in 1981 but failed and was subsequently arrested by the Stasi. To biography