Cwic Show- LDS Woman, "I Went to Prison for Smuggling People Across the Berlin Wall"

At age 18, Sylvia Pollack began smuggling people from East Germany to West Germany. Things were going well, then she was setup by the East German security force, the Stasi. After 3 months in an East German jail without her family knowing what had happened to her, she had a mock trial and was sentenced to 5 years in an East German prison. Silvia grew up in both West Germany and East Germany with family on both sides of the wall. She was a member of the Young Pioneers, a mandatory, communist youth group not unlike the Hitler Youth of the Nazis. She lived in the different worlds of democracy and socialism and gives examples of life behind the iron curtain.



I have a file because I got caught

smuggling people out of East Germany


again there's not a lot of editing I do

but maybe a little bit that'll end up

doing but we don't do a whole lot of it

unless you tell me I'm that way I want

you to take that out I really wanted to

express myself on this but maybe I went

too far no you say whatever you want

you're good to go this is this is uh I

kind of want what you're you know I want

your real feelings on this you bring a

certain perspective to this that most of

us here don't have you know the thing

about it is having been on both sides of

Defense and living in the US for just

about just H me it's different story you

get to see things okay so tell me you

were in were you in West Berlin or in

just in West Germany somewhere or where

did you grow up I grew up in West

Germany okay almost Porsche and Mercedes

oh nice you have any connections there

my father used to be a master mechanic

okay so his best buddy is actually the

master mechanic in one of the

productions okay so they do get them in

expense nice so they don't pay retail so

you grew up in Stuttgart and then your

were you born there I was born in

Chicago it was raised between East

Germany and West Germany because my

mother's parents were in East Germany

okay her great-grandparents fled from

Russia because of genocide in Russia

this is during the gulags mm-hmm towards

to choose mm-hmm so it wasn't just Adolf

yes things like that took place even

prior to mm-hmm

so they got stuck because of a woman and

former now eastern Germany former East

Germany and they started to build up a

life over there after they got stuck

needless to say World War two comes

around and defense goes up hmm so now we

have an East and West Germany

and my mother was in Berlin at a sports

event met my father in West Berlin in

Berlin at that time you're still purlins

okay it changed after 62 when they

definitely closed defenses and had no

more exchanges my mother took off with

my father and went down south towards

helps okay and by the time she realized

what's going on not only was she

pregnant but so what year would

that have been

59 okay so there'd already been a

split yeah but there was still a little

more fluidity going between the two

sides with the four powers to accept

their part in it Russia wounded more and

Americans said well then we take this

part the French that we take that part

brush and the British took another part

and they will find what it as far as the

defense goes but Russia wounded and

launched a piece of the pie and the rest

of them said you know what uh no can do

well then Russia decided we're gonna get

released at that time an upcoming

president for eastern Germany and

developed info are the nationalistic

folks army hmm Fuchs army not Somali

folks on me and used it against its own

people and that's when they started to

have at first barbed wire fences the

wall came up used it against their own

people in the terms that they their

backs are their backs or to wit West

Berlin and their guns are facing toward

East Berlin yeah pretty much pretty much

East Germany was the largest living

prison that we had because nobody turns


guns against its own people and kill

some to keep them in mm-hmm but that's

exactly what they did so you had you had

family members then in East in East

Berlin no East Germany and he's German

yes okay miss Germany okay Berlin even

East Berlin was an island by itself East

Berlin was candy land for East Germans

mm-hmm because they had everything and

then it went into the rest of East

Germany but everything went to East

Berlin first because it was government

seat they tried to keep a distance from

from the so called socialistic Democrats

yes that's funny you bring that up

actually that name because I've done a

little research on this and it's funny

like even today we'll get into this in a

minute but it's just it's just funny

that you hear that term today even here

in the US democratic socialism or

socialist Democrats and that's the same

term that was used in East Germany and

Russia right and the Soviet Union but I

was just looking at that I saw several

titles and banners and things of the

people that were and they used to say

socialist Democrats but the Young

Pioneers yes we're gonna get we're

gonna get into that in a second so

because I looked into that too that's

pretty interesting it's kind of like the

the socialist version of the Nazi

youth basically yeah but the sad thing

is it's a programming forced onto to use

mmm-hmm by the government and it's

it's using to use against its own

parents mm-hmm well I think that's key

you have to do that right now you have

they did the same thing with Pol Pot you

know they did the exact same thing you

did the same thing with Mao and they

turn them against their parents because

they need to get rid of the old guard

what it is and have purity growing up in

the next generation yeah the sense of

socialism so you grew up in in

Stuttgart and I know my accents off

there what did you know about

the East as a little girl

right what were you taught in school

about the easy we did note and it

was east and west and we belong together

but we were kept separate that pretty

much was about it as far as the media

goes it was suppressed the only thing

you ever heard was when something

trickled through underground now why you

would think that and the East you would

have that why would you have that in the

West West Germans didn't want to stir up

the pot okay it was still a time of

Russians being right behind that wall

mm-hmm you know there was a threat yeah

you know you don't play with the enemy I

mean you keep him at bay you keep an eye

on him but you don't play with him so

information was very limited as far as

sectors the only thing we ever heard was

when somebody escaped successfully or

when somebody got killed on the border

mm-hmm needless to say from the East

German side not to its German sites but

it's a young girl very little

information the only the only thing that

I knew I mean when it really became

obvious to me dead that we had a problem


within the country I must have been

about seven years old we took the train

over to East Germany and you when

on agerage spend about two hours on the

border where they checked everything all

the suitcases were opened

you got East German marks Ford which

wasn't worth a lick I mean you can buy

much and nothing is you couldn't take

anything out mm-hmm we always took

something in we never came back with

something I would I mean there wasn't


really avail you until needle so when

you were young you were typically going

over there to visit family yeah okay

four weeks into summertime in two weeks

in the window time okay so each year

yeah so there was at least that kind of

fluidity where you could you know

families obviously had been separated

and you were able to visit each


well my grandparents weren't allowed

because they weren't retired so they

were not allowed to come and visit until

the age of 65 okay because then they

become a burden to the state so it's

okay to give you yes so you can go to

the rest yeah okay interesting so they

couldn't come visit you know okay what

what were your impressions do you

remember when you were first a little

girl going into East Germany I mean was

it pretty much the same at that point at

it was Germans have a children

sorry I'm too scared kids Slavic

Conshelf the father he touch off we

don't get in Pomona and pummel and this

up to punt it's a war room it's rather

dark rhyme because it's a child little

child sleep your father is in the war

your mother is going to another country

but the country got burned down okay

that's pretty much the feeling that you

have when you go across the portal

because everything is great and cray and

cray I mean it was it was depressing


not only leaving home which was the

first city in West Germany or the last

before he come to the portal the woods

opened up so you got into a little bit

more open space the Train really slowed

down people in on the train really

became more hush hush hush hmm

you didn't hear much everybody always it

was more of a whisper then dinner talk

anymore and it's like what the heck is


I mean you really got that feeling

like you're going into something

really bad so you see you actually

walking around the towns or the cities

there was people weren't talking there

was that much of a difference you

couldn't you couldn't talk and you

couldn't even trust your own parents to

some extent which I find out much later

because I have a star C file what's that

Stasi file the state security of East

Germany I have a file because I got

caught smoking people out of East

Germany do it okay we'll get to that in

a minute but yeah it was it was there I

mean my grandmother used to hang out at

the window and waited for the mail and

she always told us you don't say

anything personal to the mail person hmm

that's like putting it into the pasta

and it's like when you had to puff now

that's the town's cry oh that's like

okay and sure enough we I don't know I

mean as teenagers we did some dumb stuff

typical teenager stuff but it got to the

next largest city which was responsible

for that area which was Hornstein

unstyled and the photo showed up the

police and asked us about it what was

this about what did you mean about that

and that is scary that is excuse me how

do you know you know and I mean we're

talking about being 15 years old and

it's like sure I'll take you on you know

and they're threatening you with

being taken to a work camp and it's like

what and my grandmother you don't

talk about things you don't talk about

things so you don't talk about things

you have to learn to shut up just tell

them it's beautiful it's beautiful it's

beautiful it's like how can it be

beautiful so this is something you know

going from being a little girl and going

into a teenager when you know

because you're going every year you're

visiting but you're starting to learn oh

I mean I don't know you could observe

early on as a girl a little girl

it's not it my cousins friends

girlfriends two of them actually died on

the border because they tried to escape

from East Germany East Germany day one

of them got shot by it by the guards and

the other one got caught up in in the

PowerPoint or and they let him bleed to


it wasn't easy but when we had a chance

we talked among us as teenagers and when

you have fear of who to talk to and

about what you have a problem mm-hmm and

the problem didn't fit well with me

I wasn't used to being controlled as far

as my speech goes as far as my gates to

go on this side off the road on that

side of the road

don't peek over the fence because hey

the KGB might be listening in and

and taking pictures it's like come on

now who sits in a government control pig

farming and take pictures of others well

the KGB does it's like excuse me it was


it was just crazy so you had you know

again it you're going into your teenage

years you're starting to get a much

better idea of what this actually means

and what the difference is between

living in West Germany and living in

East Germany differences like denied

they changed Chemnitz to call mark city

okay the East German stood to glorify

call marks to clarify call marks he's

one of the father of March now he's one

of the founders of socialism as it's

written in a German this and on top over

down Marx and Engels are the ones

dead dead were the basis or being used

as two paces something off I saw a

number of pictures in front of buildings

and on roads of you know they'd have a

big head of Karl Marx in places and do

you remember going through and

constantly this would have been after

Stalin right when you're a teenager so

you didn't see stalling up everywhere

Brezhnev you did have Stalin and you had

Lenin Lenin was a profile picture on

your pins in the Young Pioneers which

was an honor bench that you got and it

was just a small pin size of him because

shortened Lenin also was the grandfather

of former East Germany okay Lenin was

according to East German government the

glorified and justified personification

of a socialistic god mm-hmm I mean

that's how he was presented and it's

like well I mean he tried to kill off

people he cleared out whole villages you

know it's interesting I because I've

read a little bit on this ever a lot of

stalling and a lot of people believed

that Lenin and still do today the Lenin

wasn't that bad you know his

policies may have been bad but he wasn't

like Stalin in the sense that he got rid

of people even in his own government etc

but he did he did that's thing about it

but Lenin then had control over the

medium petals and Stalin did and Stalin

had the problem he took on the West

openly mmm Lenin did it from the

back door in Lenin Lenin did what the

Democratic Party is doing today the US

Democratic Party okay why do you say

that what do you mean because all the

similarities aren't there I mean you

look at it even today when you turn on

TV today all this Trump disturb dent and

we don't care and his mafia boys

and he's using mafia like methods to

get information and using arrogance yet

it's only against Trump but when you

really look at it in the overall picture

the Democratic Party has been doing it

for quite some time now so control

mm-hmm like I said I've been there I've

seen it I grew up with it I don't want

it mmm

and I told my husband and I love him

dearly but if it should come down to it

and we are implementing those kind of

rules in this country here oh I'll be

the first one to pack my bags and move

to New Zealand to count sheep I'm not

I'm not willing to give up on my

freedom that I after 30 years in this

country achieved an inmate mine just

just wander away and to give it away for

somebody that wants to rule take and not

share this country used to be about

sharing being together as a nation not

as a single party where you have a

handful of people controlling everything

the money goes into this handful of

people and everybody else is being held

at babe with crumbs because you're

not allowed to go further than the

crumbs they get the silver platter oh

you can assist a tiny little teaspoon

with hole in it if you're lucky enough

you get a half of teaspoon of soup our

Utah are you talking about the

politicians yeah okay so I've seen it

I've been there I stood in line not

knowing what was at the end of the

line in East Germany just to find out it

was mascara the cheapest oldest mascara

for seven marks at that time who is for

sale but everybody stood in line because

hey there's a chance you get some old

mascara so this our time these are times

where you visited your family and you

were there I think you said for four

weeks of time so when you're there in

four weeks so then are you you're

registered there in a sense they know

you're there they know you're there and

so during those four weeks while you're

visiting your family you go into these

of the Young Pioneers I had to because

so do you had the uniform

I had my you have the whole thing and so

tell me a little bit about the Young

Pioneers what did they have you do is

that is that does that include school I

did do to school just about a week every

summer because our summer vacation fell

different than my cousin's so yeah we

just fell into the same pod it wasn't

mandatory however to keep to keep the

peace because my grandfather didn't

agree with it okay he got expelled from

the party and his rebellion turned into

growing a little Adolf stache okay and

they asked him several times to shave

that off but it was his form of being

rebellious against the system so he

never shaved it until he died what does

that mean if you're kicked out of the

party I mean how many people there in

East Germany are not in the party I

don't know I don't know but I'm pretty

sure what the number boys read off

minimal you probably could count them on

one or two fingers the way it affected

us when we were there when citrus fruit

came in from Cuba the oranges were

rather like straw they weren't oranges

really they're more for choosing

rather than eating but when citrus did

come in and it finally made it into the

village nine out of ten times we weren't

entitled to anything because they were

out just like that so they had their way

so they were they were they were a

little less equal than the other people

right yeah exactly

so my grandparents really did live in

the village they lived outside it's a

good 15 minutes down the hill but

they're there away from everything they

have their own little area and I imagine

because of my great grandmother she was

a very feisty Jewish woman there was a

reason why they left out there because

they didn't quite fit in everything was

limited you

couldn't get just everything when you

needed it so improvising whoa it was

high on the list growing your own

year-round greenhouse that my uncle

actually built to the back the thick of

plastic we brought in in the suitcase so

they have the plastic tube to build a

greenhouse there was no running water we

had a pump outside we didn't have a

toilet in the sense of a toilet it was

when that got bummed out once a year and

it ended out on the fields yes many more

go back to the planer youth oh no

any how did that go we did Scout work in

a lot of ways but we always had to say

thanks to you Soviet soldier which was

kind of strange because there wasn't one


mm-hmm they weren't even allowed to come

out of there restricted area under the

Russians we had them down into wits but

they always worked behind a fence but

everything was geared towards a

militaristic uniformed lifestyle you

speak alike you act alike and you keep

an eye on your neighbor

it doesn't matter of it your brother

your mother your father whoever to make

sure they're following the Orthodox day

you make sure they're following the rule

if they don't you tell us we make sure

that's interesting because that's

I mean obviously that's a part of

what socialism is right of communism and

it's an attempt that I the way I

see it it's a it's an attempt to

take a natural hierarchy which is here's

what I could accomplish or here's what I

might not accomplish going down based on

my choices on my agency and trying to

flatten it by force is that's the only

way you can do it because it's a natural

thing and so you force it into a linear

place and the only way you do that is

through tyranny at the top and tyranny

at the bottom and it trickles down it

really trickles down to a point

were brother against brother sister

against sister and still smiling in your

face and living under the same roof it's

scary the thought alone is Gary and in I

have a hard time to adjust to uniformity

because I'm an individual and I think we

each have our own rights our own ways

our ways to express to accept an end

to be and it shouldn't be somebody else

trying to force you into a mold and tell

you when to do what why to do what and

how much you're entitled to if I work

hard I should be entitled to what I earn

I shouldn't have to give it to somebody

that just sits there and tells me you

didn't earn that you give that to me and

you didn't earn that goes back to

Obama he tried the same thing he started

out there's no community organizer but

most of the Young Pioneers go into

communities as little organizers in in

certain areas kindergarten how wonderful

I don't even know how to hold my spoon

but you tell me how to do it right I

don't I don't know how to spell my own

name but you tell me how to say thanks

to you so it's so true

it's hard it's so so frustrating when

you see where it all led and people were

contingently because they were afraid so

afraid of being shot by a handful and

the funny thing is after the Wall fell I

I met a soldier that was on the border

and he said if we want a shunt they

would have shot us and it's like what do

you mean he says if we wouldn't have

taken a shot and whoever tried to get

out somebody never saw that somebody

else would have taken a shot at us from

within not from

you know and it's like you got to be

kidding me so so they were they were

suppressed to a point date they were in

bondage they didn't have a choice

absolute bondage absolute submission to

the rule so time goes by and I know that

you have had had some experience between

going back and forth later on now is

this still you're visiting your family

at these times is that where this kind

of thing starts yeah you're visiting

your family my cousin she's the same age

as me she tried to apply for visa to

leave East Germany unhappy one of the

friends made an attempt and got killed

at the border I mean I was 18 I mean I

was still full piss and vinegar I met a

friend who has family also in former

East Germany and we got together

Terri's or that used to be a group of

people that prepare cars trunks with

liners and stuff and we went to Berlin

West Berlin and you gotta drive to East

Germany in order to get the West Berlin

okay West Berlin was the island in the

Red Sea the Red Sea was the Communists

around and we got caught turns out the

one that we were supposed to pick up and

one of the rest stops

he was Stasi so we got arrested okay

what do you mean he was Stasi what is

that State Security so that's that you

talked about you have a Stasi file okay

so that's why a file comes in okay yeah

and so you're over there and you're

trying to get smuggled well we did

smuggle by that point we had two of them

out already

was this now where did this plan come

from we heard about it and the thing

is there are at that time there were a

lot of people which had relatives of

some sort cousins extended angles

grandmothers grandfathers whatever they

got in in East Germany or that actually

were allowed to leave on a visa usually

it's the elderly that were allowed to

leave on visas so yeah you hear things

you know and my mother had a very

typical East German accent I mean she

couldn't deny it if she wanted to and it

she stood out like a sore thumb so you

get information and it rolls I mean I

don't even know where we picked it

up about the group in Berlin that

prepares the cars but we found out about

them so you found some connections and

you decided that you were gonna be a

part of this you know we're gonna do

this so you obviously is this just

youthful adventure or is this already

a built in you know into your core like

I have got to help these people I did I

think it was building because I got

kicked out of the Young Christian

Democratic Union at 16 mm-hmm because I

questioned the politicians a little too

much so which is one of the Democratic

parties in Germany

West Germany so yeah it was building the

rebellion was building already too we

have to do something we have to force a

change we were surrounded by US troops

and I hate to tell you even the

freedom they had look better than what

we had in West Germany so and now you go

to East Germany and everything is is

suppressed it's down and don't move

don't say you have to do something about

it and that was my opportunity to do

something so you're 18 and you go do

this you're out of school we've done


graduated I actually signed up with

college at that time by the university

okay sure so tell me exactly what

happens here is you go any trace this

the first attempt that you try this and

there you have it he was the third one

that we were supposed to pick up okay so

what about the other two did those go

successfully one of them we chopped off

in West Berlin because we came from West

Germany to Berlin and on the way over we

picked him up what you do now my

understanding is obviously just so

people may not know this

West Berlin is an island right right so

it's completely surrounded by East

Germany yeah so even traveling down that

corridor to get to West Berlin aren't

you had checkpoints with these Germans

yes you are yeah but you go to a rest

stop that is designated for West Germans

or transit people and it's specifically

designated for transit not for East

Germans or anybody else mm-hmm and you

back up into the parking lot because to

the back is a row of bushes so whoever

comes in can easily come in from the

bushes you leave the trunk unlock take

it in you go in you have your coffee you

have a window of about 20 minutes and

you get into your car you try Falls as

if nothing happens you're coming from

you're coming in this consents yours at

a rest stop and in in West Germany no oh

this is any we came from West Germany

we were on our way to whisper

when the third one happened yeah okay

and so what happened oh what happened

the easiest thing to describe it was

crazy it was just guns and police

everywhere I mean it was it was I don't

know we kind of felt like we killed

somebody I mean okay so you're in enemy

territory exactly and with all these

guns yeah and

so what's going through your mind how

did you get caught

he was Stassi so you've got you've got

somebody in the trunk at this time yeah

who is this I don't even know okay so

this is all kind of setup and you're

just it was previously set up okay dude

a group in Berlin I wanted to get my

cousin owed that was my main thing and

and we try it

but until then you get hate there is

somebody so we did take two people out

and everything was fine I mean

nothing went wrong and then the third

one everything went upside down

so were you at a checkpoint no we were

actually at the transit rest stop okay

which is the specifically designated

rest area for people transiting from

West Berlin to West Germany or West

Germany to West Berlin mm-hmm but you're

in East Germany it's in Germany so and I

mean it was just I don't even know what

these policemen came from gate all of a

sudden they were all around us and

it's like freezing up and in it was just

nuts it was nuts well it sounds pretty

scary it is because they still know

where the machine guns drawn and I don't

know if they were secured if they were

loaded I mean you have no clue you

could treat it like you're the

biggest enemy in the world I mean it's

like wait a minute I haven't even done

anything yet you know I haven't even

made a move yet mm-hmm and you don't

even breathe I mean it's so so hard

to breathe because you're afraid that if

you take a deep breath they're gonna

shoot you because they gonna get

the wrong idea what you're planning on

doing and then it's it was mad before

you know it we were in these hugs he

went off went with a group of men and

and out was separated and I got into one

of the vents and events have little

booze in it with

do we know mm-hmm so you just get locked

in and very small so if you're heavier

like me now I wouldn't be able to be in

there today so today I mean how many

people were you with I had one person

with me you had one person with you and

then whoever you were picking up in the

trunk we're all three of you back in the

back of this van then no Haydn’s he got

into to one when I was taking off to the

other and I don't know what happened to

the person in in the car at the court

date in the trunk yeah at the court date

he showed up as a witness for the state

when it turned out he was Stasi I assume

he didn't go any worse from there on he

went home dude to fool the next ones

yeah okay so they had they had set you

guys up oh yeah I was a definite setup

mm-hmm so what happened how long was the

court date after you were caught being

in childhood the first thing was almost

three months of it was investigation

almost daily so you were in jail in East

Germany for three months separated from

from others at first i oh there's no I

had no other person about me were you in

as were you in a cell by yourself all by

myself Wow you're 18 years old

yeah the interviews the investigations

were a rental strange it was to kind of

like Lauren or a good guy bad guy him

they tried that try to convince me that

oh yeah win the wall falls we're

gonna be all together and it's gonna be

like nothing happened so what happened

and it's like excuse me what happened

nothing happened you know it's like yeah

your family in blah blah blah it was

crazy it was just absolute man and then

a week before the court date I finally

get to be with others in a Cell and

it was eight

women girls two of them were there

because they applied for reasons to

leave East Germany Sony weren't there

for the control of it one of the moist

air she tried to escape to hungry and

got caught and that's a route that a lot

of people took later on yeah my cousin

did - yeah hungry and then tomorrow -

lady Austria in Austria and my cousin

did in and it was a successful one

mm-hmm my brother took him out in the

trunk - to Austria I think there used to

be an electric fence there that had gone

down or some Austrians were rather very

relaxed but um so at the core what

happened to the court my grandmother and

uncle showed up and they were asked if

they know me my grandmother said that's

my granddaughter my uncle says that's my

niece do you know why she's here my

grandmother said I don't even know why

I'm here

what is going on my uncle just not at

the hit and next thing I know I was told

I'm getting five years it's like what so

five years and I not got walked out I

mean it wasn't even ten minutes

errand boys are home so they had that

they had the guy in the trunk came out

as a witness against you pretty much it

he just stood there they asked him if

I'm the one he said yes he told us that

oh he told the courts which was just

one church and in a secretary that he

got in the trunk he got all the

information through us which is not true

but I wasn't allowed to say anything no

I mean everything was preset already and

like I said my grandmother was asked if

she knows me and she says yes that's my

friend daughter but I don't know what's

going on

my uncle was asked if he knows who I am

and I pretty much was it and they got

walked out and so it's just a formality

they're just going through a formality -

right put some checklist my lawyer

wasn't even now

wasn't even my lawyer wasn't even

there and they told you you're gonna

have five years five years but that

didn't happen did it no I did a year in

one day so you did another year in jail

a year only one day oh my gosh yeah

which was um no fun yeah because you

have the yellow misery in boats and it's

close to the Czech Polish border area

it's in that corner was built by Hitler

actually and at that time I've always

called a yellow misery because the

facade outside was kind of yellowish

with a grey hint like most of it in East

Germany the walls were thick the

cells were very small you had two

bunk beds a small table you weren't

allowed to sit you understand

the only time you were allowed to sit

was for your food and Wichmann breakfast

and dinner so two meals a day yeah and

you bunked with another woman

eventually yeah eventually she also got

caught smoking people so she was from

West Germany

she was West Germany would a American

husband how many how many people were

there a lot of West Germans in that

prison it was solely West Germans it was

only West Germans in that in that prison

yeah we had no contact other than the

prison guards there were no other East

Germans no it was all West Germans

except for when she was East German born

her family left early on went to Austria

she had dual citizenship Austrian German

citizenship and I'm not quite sure what

her background really was but it was

somewhat politically motivated

she had a ten-year stay wouldn't the

East German government so what are your

parents thinking at this time I mean

they what had you tell them about

leaving to go to East Berlin were you

just talking about your family or no I

actually was a weekend

and I'd talk my model she's gonna

babysit my son who was six months old at

that time oh you had a son at the time

yeah six months well dude that was

tragic he's German government after

three months informed the West German

government and the police finally window

went to my mother and told him that he

got me but it took him three months of

course she has no idea at all where you

are or what's happening well I didn't I

didn't think we would get caught I'm

sure Weiss twice prior to it everything

went fine I never would have thought of

the consequences like that

were there any attempts from West

Germany to try and get you guys out it's

that that's what is terminated the

legalization of smuggling they give

you a longer sentence and for every day

that you were released early on they get

a certain amount of money so from West

Germany from West Germany so so my

sentence with five years I did one year

one day because I got caught in a leap

year they got four years paid for film

from West Germany so it's like what

that's legalized mm-hmm so they know

you're only gonna be there for a certain

amount of time oh they do they do but

they're it's extortion it is it is I

mean foger which was a lawyer in East

Germany which worked for the East German

government took large fees to help East

Germans to apply for the reasons to get

out then half of the people ended up in

prison even work comes and you do

work in East German prisons you do not

have a choice you do not work you only

get one meal a day you're in the cell by

yourself you don't see anybody else in

order to keep your sanity you

volunteer to work and you do have 12

hour work days so it's not that you sit

around and not do anything

you you're doing your parts and you

have neighbors you can actually talk to

somebody while you do your York

eventually it becomes routine so you get

the dog and blah blah blah

and turn you head then when you get

caught oh they're gonna cut your rations

so you had me get caught talking yeah

okay so it's probably worth it though oh

it was every time yeah you thought you

were gonna be in there for five years

so was it sudden that they came to you

and let you go two or three years they

show up you get separated from everybody

and you get into a cell by yourself a

floor above right under the roof and all

you have is a Cal factor which comes by

and friendship civilian clothes what you

getting is a old Russian military

uniform or East German military uniform

which been taken out of commission

they're bright blue with even brighter

yellow stripes on the jackets the

skirts or the pens have a bright yellow

stripe on the outside the shirts are

white the shoes are I don't even know I

would call them Clongowes

okay what did you eat every day oh gosh

we ate actually in prison it wasn't so


it was jail that was horrible mm-hmm

the three months in jail you get

everything in a plastic bowl and you get

to avoid swallowing anything you get a

spoon that is the size of a serving

spoon because people swallow items to

end up in hospitals to get better

treatment which I found out later but

yeah everything goes in to it doesn't

matter it just like a pig's trough

it's just all put together and end the

whole excuses it goes into one stomach

anyways mm-hmm so yeah I'll leave it on

its collar so you've been in for a year

they let you go


oh it wasn't so easy they separated me

from everybody I didn't even know what

the heck out it wasn't even said

anything about but you going home

nothing okay so the following day I end

up in the truck

they actually trucked me over to the

portal at the portal I got a piece of

paper and right before the train left

they put me on the train and told me see

ya you better not come back into East

Germany you're not getting Vsauce don't

even apply that's like whoops that was

it that's like and then in Hope the

police already waited for me and they

traveled with me on the train all the

way just didn't come to take in the view

they didn't take me off they traveled

with me okay so one when about is this

what you're about is this - 79 78 to 79

so yeah they're still in their glory so

to speak in East Germany this time yeah

you haven't had a decline yet or it's

common but it hasn't happened really it

happened rebellion haven't often on

placed Leipzig and berlin berlin was

easy to suppress because it was the seat

of the government mm-hmm so you had way

much more police Forster however late

tick intestine which are further away

even today are strong areas for

neo-Nazis today but also nationalism and

they did to use my age group was the one

that started together and started you to

revolt against the system anything

it got suppressed rather fast with wit

force would you say that maybe some of

those pockets then in East Germany

where there might be movements of neo

Nazism kind of has its roots in

rebellion against the communists

definitely and it held strong - mm-hmm

however what so sad is they turned it

into nationalism and nationalism it's

just another form of socialism yeah I

mean it's just they're going to the

other end of the spectrum and it ends up

the same way but it was it was the

beginnings of it and I mean the whole

rebellion against the system really

started out of life - contest' and

eventually crew I mean they couldn't

they couldn't suppress it's like thrown

a stone into a lake

the little waves keep going and

spreading spreading spreading eventually

have you ever seen the TV series

Deutschland 83 no you should watch it

that would be fascinating for you I

think it's there's a there's a

there's a show on it's in German

and I'm pretty sure it's German produced

and it's Deutschland 83 so it's in

1983 I don't know how long you were in

Germany 83 I was not was in Lenin so I

was in the University still okay so

there's one year in 83 where they're

still kind of in their glory and their

there their ideology reign supreme but

then it has no H line 86 so the next

season is in takes place in 86 and

things aren't the same so they're there

they're scrapping for money anywhere

they can get it they're trying to go to

Africa and places where they that's done

win ting East Germans did anything that

was foreign Cubans

Africans from certain countries in

Africa Angola yeah places like that they

had preferential treatment mm-hmm

it didn't matter if it was in the stores

in East Germany in East Germany they had

prefer and East Germans looked at

him with a lot of hate they had a

lot of names form

just not human mm-hmm because of that

and in a lot of especially Africans and

I'm not trying to defend it but they got

treatments that weren't too nice mm-hmm

the Nazis come to mind when we're not

think of it because at my grandmother's

village which is a rather small village

if you have 500 head living in the

village you have a lot and it does not

include the cattle mm-hmm

they had two Africans living there they

worked in in the closest city while

Ethan buuck one of them were walked at

night anaconda the most horrible beating

the most horrible beating I think that

was absolutely unnecessary but that's

the hatred that came to the top because

they had preferential treatment these

guys didn't why did they why did they do

that why do they give him preferential

treatment that's actually in this series

I saw that why did it get preferential I

don't even know because it's maybe

they want the connections back in their

country probably they need they need

some connection out there currently

because these were privileged guys to

begin with to come now but East Germany

paid for their stay paid for that travel

I mean they really were privileged even

though they could have come out of a

pool in the village well especially when

you're comparing it with the people in

this Germany that have nothing

exactly they'd have no freedoms and

exactly but the whole abundance of

all he probably didn't even know what

the heck was going on mm-hmm but I think

the beating done that one guy received

in my opinion was overdoing it they let

a frustration out on somebody that was

most likely the innocent one mm-hmm I'm

not trying to defend socialism or

anything but the mistreatment of that

individual was uncalled for

yeah so well what happened when he went

home I mean you went you everything

became normal at that point he went you

went to university

an adjustment period okay and then I got

married and came to the US the first

time holy smokes to learn of the

freedom heal mm-hmm so even in West

Germany you still wanted you're still

you're still too controlled even anyway

I mean you even today even today you do

not move without signing in and out of

your local police department from your

town federally town even if you move on

from the third floor to the first floor

you go to your local police department

and you let them know that you moved

from the third to the first floor you

have six week window to do so even today

in West Germany so it there's a lot of

control and lots of policing mm-hmm

so you're back and you're

in West Germany obviously much better

condition there but you still feel that

there's more freedom available out there

so you're saying that's why I signed up

with I stopped which is an exchange

program on the University and I went to

Italy and that was the first realization

that there is more to life than

just what's offered mm-hmm actually you

bought it even in the store you bought

what you don't have to pay what's on the

ticket no you borrow and if you don't

they look at you like yeah we've

suspicious Samuel I know what's your

problem you know you know so yeah you

bought or in and boy you learned the

language rather fast so i hitchhike home

I meet my now ex-husband who was

stationed in in Venice or near Venice in

Vicenza the City of Gold and he showed

me a world that was even available to me

that was like oh wait a minute what you

can do what and you don't have to and

you can go from Wednesday to the other

moving about without having to tell

anybody that you're moving it's like

okay I'll check it out sure and boy did

I like it that's what

Kaymer US citizen I

I appreciate my freedom I love my

freedom but I'm afraid of the direction

Network taking right now well that's

where I wanted to go next what you know

there's so much what has changed it

seems to me in the last 10 to 15 years

is there's a movement of and I

think social media has something to do

with it I'll use the term privilege has

something to do with it in the sense

that we don't have hardships and so and

I say hardships we don't have hardships

compared to a lot of other countries

you know no wars that most of us are

going to a very wealthy country and so

it's easy to start thinking of other

ideas other systems that hey what about

this over here and in the last 10 to 15

years we have this rise of political

correctness for example you say the last

10 to 15 years I disagree with you ok

the roots are way much evil the roots

were set into 50s those roots I know

what you're talking about I guess what

I'm talking about is the is the

controlling of language yeah the

controlling of link it's just now coming

to the surface we lost control over the

educational system that's where it

started it came into the backdoors to do

to school systems the infiltration the

brain manipulation of the youth which

was also attempted in my case however in

my case it was easy to ignore because I

had a French father in a Russian mother

that grew up in East Germany I mean

sorry but somehow your suppression

doesn't quite sit well with me it really

showed up in in the schools and it

wasn't just schools it was two

universities as well and they really did

get infiltrated and then it's coming

to the surface now okay I felt raided

with what duh

the thought of socialism communism this

especially in the humanities department

yeah and it's fine I mean I don't mind

to help my neighbor because that's what

the Bible says okay I'll be the first

one to help but not to the extent you

stand there and you tell me I have to

help and you pocket money doesn't fly

mm-hmm I share I share to my abilities

to the best of my abilities but do not

force me to share do not tell me it's my

responsibility when it's not do not ask

me to support you when you have means to

support yourself there is

something wrong with the picture here

we cannot solely rely on a government

structure that tells us when to do what

to do how to do where to do when we have

freedom of our own agency if I'm to a

point where I need help

I will ask for help but don't tell me I

have to help because I have two pennies

more than the other I worked for those

two pennies more I'm fixing my roof with

those two pennies I'm not willing to pay

somebody else's roof when I have to take

care of mine first so I'm not saying no

but I am saying no to socialism I'm

saying no to communism communism and

socialism the way it's written

it's la-la-land it's magic it's utopia

it's a utopian ideology that says this

is going to be filling and that's again

what I'm saying about privilege and

about Mabon Dhin so we have here you

start you can have a number of people

start to think oh this is they forget is

what I'm saying you forget you know we

we grew up I grew up in the Cold War

period so did I you know when I had

sirens exactly we had drills on how to

protect in school yeah sure I remember

getting underneath the desk it was there

was a bomb test you know and

it's you know you're reminded a lot more

you know there's a constant threat of

another superpower that wanted to change

your world right and it is and it's

taking place again and it's so open now

in our face where you have to share you

have to do this you have to do that and

then oh the other thing is climate

change because in 12 years were all

going to be gone it's too hard to live

here well wait a minute I heard that in

the sixties already mmm oh it's 2019

we're still yeah and it's a long 12


it's just forcing justice trying to

uniform everything it didn't work on the

morrow it didn't work on the blessing

yes it doesn't work on anybody yeah and

I think I think I think that that's the

point again I think that I think that

the issue is there's this idea everybody

would like to help everybody else I mean

most everybody right I mean that's a

common thing and that's what that

ideology plays on it's it plays on that

it says well don't you want to be a

helpful person don't you want don't you

think the poor should be taken care of

and the problem is is that when you

circumvent the individual then you

take everything away you can't have a

civilization survive that way now when

you circumvent the individual and you go

directly to a collective and everybody

has to be part of the collective in the

orthodoxy and then you remove

individualism right and so now what

we've lost is our free will our free

agency is gone or it's barely

surviving on a daily basis and you

better not make it obvious

so is political correctness worse in

Germany that yeah because I know in

England it's not in England it's not so

we've been to England we watch a lot of

BBC shows there's no there's very little

political or Trump's in in every other

sentence I know but there's no they're

not worried about finding a different

race different people but in in in West

Germany or in

Germany now it's extreme it's extreme

we're oh yeah you're not allowed to call

them for Enos anymore not allowed to

call them asylum seekers or what you

actually get punished

you can be fined you can learn for hate

speech for hate speech yeah or if you

say it on social media they actually

fuck you four whole months

that's actually starting to happen in

England as well so I mean it's


it's speech control and that's where it

usually starts worst first that's right

no it's my point about what I'd say this

you cannot you have to accept no you

don't have to accept you have to save

what's bothering you

otherwise they want know what's

bothering you and they continue doing it

and it's exactly what it is they'll

continue doing it because you're not

allowed to say it so you see the

political correctness that's going on

right now this control of language has

something very similar to what you saw

in East German yeah and we're

starting here now oh damn not for Enos

what the heck are they I'm before you

know even though I'm a US citizen I can

proudly say to I'm a US citizen or

foreign origins okay so what most of us

are but I don't have to take it what's

gonna come now if we continue going down

that road you can't do this you can't do

that I'm packing my bags

I already got half of it in nerve so I

can count why do why you dealing oh

because he got more sheep than anybody


it's beautiful place I hear oh it is it

is actually I loved it I wouldn't mind

to go back okay so you've been there oh

yeah yeah well is there anything else

that we haven't discussed that you

really would want to say what I want to

say please do not vote Democrats I'm a

registered Republican I'm rather

independent oh I'm not a party person

honestly I I don't like either the

parties I don't I do not care for the

past are taking right now hmm I really

don't care and it's Gary

to me it's Gary well on that line I mean

I will say

I mean it there is now a concern

obviously you've got a major

presidential candidate who comes out and

says he's a democratic a socialist

Democrat basically he made already over

a million just in book in a book that

that doesn't even make sense

if you really read it I mean I read a

little excerpt of it and I'm like wait a

minute wait because he contradicted

himself in it what you're saying is not

what you're doing no he's a little more

equal than everybody else again more

equal than everybody else so and I see

this in the kids too I mean you go to

any university even in a red area right

a place that what you would think would

be very Republican and you're going to

get the kids that are you know person

they haven't lived in reality yet but

there there's a lot of a lot I've seen a

lot of surveys of what seems to be a

more right leaning University and when

Bernie Sanders ran I ran last time he's

usually the number one choice choice for

all colleges magic word free well I

really appreciate you coming in and

talking this is very compelling it's

very very interesting

it really is it's a

fascinating time in history that when

you have gone when you've actually

personally had a experience with what

happens with totalitarianism and the

differences from what you have now and

and I'm not what you saw there and it's

it's earned the hard way it's being kept

a hard way and I'm hoping more able to

keep it what do you think of East

Germany's anthem it was risen from the

ruins oh they'll first started I was

ruining I was dreaming

rebuild out of the ruins the thing about

it they're talking about World War two

the runes are the telephone

working a bunch of clearing of the

pricks so it can be rebuild the ruins

are damages that were done 80% by

Russians 20% by Americans and others

okay but 80% by Russian but it's thanks

to you interesting so very interesting

and that's their motto we're coming out

of the ruins which the Russians Basin

was bombed by the Russians before the

Americans even thought about it that's

really fascinating isn't it

that's brainwashing right there isn't it

thanks again she'll be a really

appreciate you

well that was wonderful we just carried

the road that we're taking now just this

forcing of thinking otherwise


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