An arrest with a positive surprise
After Sigrid Richter had fallen into the trap of the state security of the GDR and had been arrested at her home, she was taken to the female prison in Hoheneck in 1982. In the beginning, prison life was not easy for her. The political prisoners like her had the prospect of a relatively early release from prison. This provoked the envy of the regular, criminal female inmates who had been mostly sentenced to long prison terms and would thus spend the majority of their lives behind bars. Because of this resentment, bullying of the political prisoners by the other inmates was widespread. Richter became a victim of this bullying as well. One female inmate by the name of “Irmchen” was particularly keen on bullying Richter. Irmchen was a woman of particular strength and assertiveness. But the antipathy between the two women didn’t last long. In fact, the two soon became best friends and began to help each other instead: Irmchen – who enjoyed a tremendous respect by the other inmates – protected Richter and shielded her from any hostilities by the others. In return, Sigrid Richter made sure that Irmchen didn’t become too impulsive. Thus, Irmchen was soon to be released from prison for good behavior. However, Richter was the first of the two to be allowed to leave the prison. She could, however, leave the prison lightheartedly as Irmchen was to follow her only a few days later. Still today, the two women are best friends, tied together by the bond of their common past.