Monika Schneider has lived in East Berlin since 1979. In January 1983, she tried to escape via Prague. After her arrest, she was sentenced to two years and six months in prison. Her boyfriend from West Berlin protested for her release near the border-crossing point Checkpoint Charlie. He even spoke to the Pope. Her two children grew up in a children’s home and at their grandparents' home, respectively.
In 1985, she was released as part of an exchange of prisoners. Since 2011, she has worked as a tour guide in the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial.