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Former prisoner to re-enact Stasi jail time

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Former prisoner to re-enact Stasi jail time
Photo: DPA
09:22 CEST+02:00
A former prisoner of East Germany's fearsome secret police will return to one of its jail cells in a reenactment of the communist regime's oppression 20 years after the Berlin Wall fell.

The 65-year-old Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel will be locked in a cell of the former Hohenschönhausen prison in Berlin for seven days under the same conditions he once endured, wearing prison garb with no right to lie in his bed during the day.

Holzapfel will stay in the cell from October 29 to November 5, an organisation dedicated to the memory of the Stasi police abuses said Friday.

Holzapfel is chairman of the organisation, called '17th June 1953', and another group representing the victims of Stalinism. He was a passionate activist who demonstrated against the imprisonment of political prisoners throughout the communist regime's tenure.

In August 1989 Holzapfel staged one of his last demonstrations against the Berlin Wall itself by lying across the border at Checkpoint Charlie.

The Hohenschönhausen reenactment, dubbed "Happening," will be broadcast live on the internet, his organisation said in a statement.

Holzapfel, a West Berliner, was arrested in East Germany for political activism in 1965 and sentenced to eight years in prison. West Germany had to pay to secure his release, a common practice at the time. The prison is now a museum.

Germany is holding a slew of events to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, which took place on November 9, 1989.

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