Dresden, TU Dresden
Mommsenstraße 6, Dresden University of Technology, 01069 Dresden, Germany
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Walking a straight path by taking many detours

Available in: English | Deutsch

The communist regime in East Germany, also called the German Democratic Republic, heavily influenced the lives of its citizens. The careers of young high-school graduates were predetermined and planned by the state. As a result, Lutz Porombka, a young and promising graduate with good grades was ordained to study medicine. However, this was not the wish of the young man, who was much more keen on taking on the career of an electrical engineer. After the obligatory military service that lasted for 1.5 years, Lutz Porombka strove to earn a place at the Technical University in Dresden in the field of electrical engineering and after being rejected at first, eventually managed to succeed. After graduation, Lutz Porombka received a doctorate from the Dresden University. His instructing professor fled to West Germany after a stay in California. This aroused curiosity in the doctoral candidate and made him consider escaping to the West as well. However, he decided to stay in Dresden with his wife. In 1985, Lutz Porombka completed his doctoral studies and returned to his home in East Berlin.

Lutz Porombka

Lutz Porombka

Lutz Porombka was born on October 24, 1955, in Berlin and spent his entire childhood until his graduation from high school in East Berlin with his parents who were very close to the Communist party of East Germany. During this period, he witnessed the construction and expansion of the Berlin Wall first-hand because they lived in an apartment that was located right at the Wall near the Sonnenallee Avenue. Porombka married and completed his education and earned a degree in engineering from Dresden University after which the young couple returned to East Berlin where their two children were born. Despite the fact that they lived adjacent to the border in East Berlin, they didn’t see too much of the revolutionary events surrounding the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In 1991, they moved to Bingen am Rhein for professional reasons. They still live in Bingen today.

Dresden, TU Dresden

Available in: English | Deutsch

In Dresden – the capital of Saxony – many remnants of the badly damaged town were cleared away during the socialist era. The area surrounding the busy Prager Straße Street was basically a rubble site before construction began in the early 1960s. Many new socialist-style buildings were constructed on the site afterwards. Between September 30 and October 5, 1989, special trains with the refugees from the West-German embassy in Prague were dispatched via Dresden to the Federal Republic of Germany. In October, thousands of people gathered at the main train station where security forces subsequently clashed with the citizens, who were in part demonstrating and in part fleeing to the trains in order to escape. On October 8, about 20,000 people marched through Dresden and demonstrated, among other things for the right to travel freely and for the freedom of expression.

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