Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Frank Ebert

Görlitzer Straße

In January 1988 Neues Deutschland, the official newspaper of the East German government, wrote: ‘The control centre for technical and financial equipping of “dissident groups” in the GDR operates out of West Berlin. (...) These “equippers” of a “GDR opposition” so warmly desired by the Western media and interested political circles include a certain Roland Jahn, 1000 Berlin 36, Görlitzer Straße.’

Prior to 1989, numerous opposition activists had left the GDR or been forcibly expatriated. A number of them settled in the neighbourhood around Wrangelstraße in Kreuzberg, continuing to work towards democratic change in East Germany from the West. 

They organised the illicit exchange of information across the border between East and West Berlin and provided urgently needed materials for producing underground publications. Banned books and newspapers were smuggled into the GDR with the aid of West German diplomats, journalists and politicians, especially Green Party activists. 

Critical writing and films found their way across the border in the other direction, to be published in the West German media. Alongside the writer Jürgen Fuchs, expatriated in 1977, the opposition activist Roland Jahn was a central figure behind these activities after he was forcibly deported from the GDRin 1983.

The expatriated GDR dissidents Frank Rub (l.) and Roland Jahn (r.) on the West side of the Berlin Wall on Görlitzer Ufer, 1986.
Quelle: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
The feared East German secret service, the Stasi, extended its long arm across the wall. Observation photo of Roland Jahn’s building on Görlitzer Straße.
Quelle: BStU
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