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Siegmar Faust - Exposing a Nation of Spies

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Published on Jul 12, 2010

Audio: Deutsch
Captions: English

Siegmar Faust speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum 2010
Exposing a Nation of Spies

www.OsloFreedomForum.com
@OsloFF
#OsloFF

Siegmar Faust discusses life in East Germany under the watchful eye of the State Security Police, or "Stasi," which at its height employed one in every sixty members of the population. As a university student, Faust fell under a Stasi investigation and was accused of writing and disseminating poems against the German Democratic Republic (GDR). He was expelled from the city of Leipzig and was twice arrested for being a public enemy, spending 742 days in solitary confinement. Faust endured more than two months of "starvation punishment" -- yet he proclaims the torture only served to make him "more unbreakable." While in prison, he illegally published a handwritten inmate newspaper called "Poor Germany," the title of which was a mockery of the official state newspaper of the time. Faust was released in 1976 due to both domestic and international pressure, narrowly avoiding the "closed facility," or psychiatric prison, where the Stasi wanted to drag him. Today he is helping to build a human rights center on the prison ground where prisoners of conscience were tortured. The secrets of the GDR dictatorship are now revealed in the Stasi Files. These public archives show how the most surveilled state in history operated on a daily basis.

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