The cell remains open all day, as always on Sundays.

People walk in and out, cross visits in other cells.

Everyone I met so far is a political prisoner.


Everybody wants to hear my story.

They all offer their moral support.

It’s like an unwritten rule or culture:


Give and you will be given; empathy is the one big theme in here.

I feel like hundreds of like minded comrades have just one goal: to support ME!

This is the most amazing energy I have ever witnessed and I am quite happy to acquire it.


Most guys are here for similar ‘offenses’:

Occupying public offices to enforce their will to leave the country.

Demonstrators against the repressive regime, artists speaking up publicly.


There are exciting stories of escape attempts across the border:

The guy who was caught a day before he could launch his home-built copter.

Neighbors handed him in as they became aware of his preparations in the basement.


The olympic water polo player who was caught in the act of jumping one of the border fences.

He’s quite happy not to have progressed as his guess work about the location of the land mines was sketchy at best.

And one guy trying to jump off a tall industry chimney in Berlin Adlershof with a self built kite, border guards climbed the latter right behind him for 20 minutes.


And there are the poor souls who tried something with their families.

Their spouses incarcerated, children in state care.

Some of them have spent years here.


Everyone’s attention is on them.

I also learn about the prison system and the prisons.

I should be happy to have landed in Naumburg instead if Hohenschönhausen, Hoheneck, Hohenleuben, Cottbus or Bautzen.


As for the families: they try to break the women.

It’s beyond horrible what their husbands report about their ordeal.

Yet, none of them ever breaks: women are so much stronger then men under such stress.


I can’t comprehend the horror of parents jailed for their believes for 4-5 years while they hear nothing about and from their kids.

Naumburg holds some 250 prisoners I hear, around 200 political prisoners.

The rest criminals, responsible for the kitchen, laundry, repairs.


While they have access to TV, longer visitation hours, more money and better food the political prisoners are cut short.

But they’ll have to go back to this shitty country.

The political prisoners wait for Thursdays.


Most Thursday mornings, when everyone gets ready for work, Guards call out the lucky ones.

“SG**** - pack your stuff.”

They leave on the spot.


On average people fulfill their sentence to 2/3.

It takes a while to negotiate the ransom I guess.

I’m automatically assigned to three lawyers already:


Vogel (East Berlin with a mandate from the East to negotiate ransom funds or packages), von der Schulenburg and Näumann (West Berlin with a mandate from the West German government).

10% of political prisoners are released back home without bail-out.

As a deterrent, a scare campaign.


So, I might look into another 7 months in here before they ask me to pack up to sneak me across the border.

Or another year until that gate opens for my folks to pick me up.

I will not let that happen!