Ransomed by the West after having been imprisoned for political reasons
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.