Since the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall on November 9th, I’ve had a fascination in reading up on the history of the events and circumstances leading up to the Wall’s demise. In searching through some information, I came across this article in which a student doing his doctoral dissertation went over to East Germany to gather information. It proved to be a frightening experience as he recalls the story of being incarcerated multiple times, for hours at a time, for no apparent reason. Very interesting. Here’s an excerpt:
From my files it appears that the Stasi used three tactics with me. First, my interrogation officer repeatedly told me that I would remain in Investigation Prison until I confessed, and that I would be unable to contact the American Embassy, my lawyer, or my family. Such isolation, of course, was stressful. One reads that many made false confessions simply to come to trial and thence to a regular prison so that they could begin to have contact with their families again. Those who did not confess often stayed in Investigation Prison for periods longer than a year and, when they finally came to trial, were given extra long sentences because they showed “no regret for their crimes.” Naturally, those who did confess were convicted, even if they repudiated their confession during their trial.