Chemnitz (Kaßberg), prison
Augustusburger Straße 25, 09111 Chemnitz, Germany
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Ransomed by the West after having been imprisoned for political reasons

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Wilfried Elsner was sentenced and imprisoned after he attempted to escape from the GDR in 1981. He was sentenced 18 months in jail. After having served 10 months in prison, he was ordered to pack his things and was transferred to Chemnitz, formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt. Wilfried was among those political prisoners who were redeemed by the government of the FRG in exchange for payment. The inmates to be released and deported to West Germany were gathered in a special prison in Chemnitz before they were brought by shuttle across the border. For Wilfried Elsner, the journey to the West took place on June 9, 1982. Wilfried Elsner boarded a bus together with a number of other deportees and they set out towards the border. The inmates remained in complete silence in the bus as everyone was indulged in his own thoughts. Everybody knew that they were leaving behind their families, friends and the life they had lived in East Germany. After the actual border crossing, the former East-German inmates let go their emotions as they are at the start of a new and free life in Germany.

Wilfried Elsner

Wilfried Elsner

Wilfried Elsner was born in 1951 in Schneeberg in the Erzgebirge Mountains. He passed kindergarten, school, military service, university studies, and work experience in the German Democratic Republic. When working as a teacher at a school in East Berlin, he joined in a petition campaign against the regime of the GDR and as a consequence, his professional career was seriously hindered. In 1981, he attempted to cross the border between Hungary and Yugoslavia with his West-German cousin. He was arrested and ended up in a GDR prison after the trial. In the beginning of 1982, he was ransomed by the Federal Republic of Germany and in the same year deported from East Germany.

Chemnitz (Kaßberg), prison

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

Chemnitz - called “Karl-Marx-Stadt” in the GDR era - was a strategic place for the regime of the GDR where it could present its ideology. This should have been done by rebuilding the center of the city that had been destroyed in World War II. Through a referendum the city was renamed from Chemnitz to Karl-Marx-Stadt. However, the center of the city was only rebuilt after the fall of the GDR.

Chemnitz (Kaßberg), prison

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Ransomed by the West after having been imprisoned for…

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Wilfried Elsner
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