Lauenburg
Gorch-Fock-Straße 45, 21481 Lauenburg Elbe, Germany
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A gloomy return to the old fatherland

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

A few years after Richter emigrated to West Germany, her father died in the GDR. Getting an entry visa to the GDR for the whole family to attend the burial proved to be an agonizing experience. At first, she was flatly turned down. Later, a visa was offered only to her son who was too young to go himself. After trying over and over again, the whole family was finally granted a permit and thus they were allowed to come to the GDR. The sad and gloomy atmosphere that was the result of the death of her father was mirrored by the dismal and somber environment: everything was grey. The family was stopped at a border crossing at a road leading across a field. They had to pay a fee for the passage. Sigrid Richter perceived everything as very bleak and spooky. The return to the GDR proved to be very discomforting and scary for Mrs. Richter.

Sigrid Richter

Sigrid Richter

Sigrid Richter was born in 1952 in Mecklenburg. She spent her childhood and youth in the GDR. Her school years as well as her studies were unburdened by problems. Shortly before the completion of her studies to be a teacher, she met her future husband. However, his curriculum vitae had a major flaw: he was the son of a West-German father. This fact potently complicated their life and it was only through the relationship with her husband that Richter learned the hard way that life in the GDR could be very problematic indeed. This made her grew critical of the regime. Finally, Richter decided to emigrate with her family. As she had believed that the GDR was a state of law, she applied for a permission to leave the country in 1982. However, by this act she attracted the attention of the Stasi – the East-German secret security police. A messenger contacted the family with the offer to arrange an illegal emigration. Although the Richter family turned his offer down, they were nonetheless incarcerated for not having reported the messenger to the police. And sos, they fell into the trap that had been staged by the Stasi. Richter was put into the Hoheneck female prison - separated from son and husband. After four and a half years, she and her husband were freed in exchange for payment by the Federal Republic of Germany. After a short time, the spouses managed to get their son to the West as well and thus the family was able to reunite.

Lauenburg

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

Lauenburg is a town on the border of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony on the Elbe. The small town is right on the former inner German border and it was thus a place where the obligatory border controls were carried out.

Lauenburg

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A gloomy return to the old fatherland

A gloomy return to the old fatherland

Sigrid Richter
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