Berlin, VEB Funkwerk Köpenick
Wendenschloßstraße 142, BHKW Köpenick, 12557 Berlin, Germany
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Workers’ uprising in Berlin

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As a teenager, Lothar Szielasko did an apprenticeship at the Funkwerk Köpenick. On June 17, 1953, he arrived at his workplace and realized that all operation had been brought to a standstill. The workers in the GDR had started a strike. Lothar Szielasko refused to follow the instructions of his supervisor and went home – initially as the only one in his class. Later that day he returned to his workplace, where he met the other trainees that were finally allowed to go home as well. Lothar Szielasko became involuntarily embroiled in the demonstration of the workers. He was threatened by an armed soldier of the Russian army that had been ordered to break the strike. However, he was lucky and emerged unharmed from the dangerous situation. Thus he was able to return to work in the Funkwerk Köpenick the next day.

Lothar Szielasko

Lothar Szielasko

Additional info about the June 17, 1953, strikes: On June 17, 1953, the workers in the GDR launch a strike in reaction to the introduction of a law increasing the working hours without any compensation in wages. As early as June 15 and 16, workers go on strike in a number of factories throughout East Berlin. The workers call a general strike on June 17. More than half a million people take part in the in the demonstrations throughout the GDR. The strikes in Berlin were crushed by the tanks of the Soviet military and the forces of the Volkspolizei (the "people’s police").

Berlin, VEB Funkwerk Köpenick

Available in: English | Deutsch

The Funkwerk Köpenick was a company seated in East Berlin, specialized in communications and broadcasting electronics.

Berlin, VEB Funkwerk Köpenick

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Workers’ uprising in Berlin

Workers’ uprising in Berlin

Lothar Szielasko
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