Zeitzeuge

Peter Bieber

Berlin, Berlin
* 1945

Striving for freedom means arriving at the right place at the right time. We paid a heavy price, but it was certainly worth it.

Biografie auf Deutsch
Themen
  • Grenzerfahrungen
  • politische Haft
  • Staatssicherheit
  • Flucht/Fluchthilfe
  • Freikauf
Sprache
  • Englisch

Biographical information

1945 Born in Königsberg, Prussia (today Kaliningrad), displaced since 1948
1955-1959 Schooling and apprenticeship in Seifhennersdorf, Hiddensee and on the island of Rügen
1966 Completes school with an Abitur leaving certificate
1970 Escape from the GDR
1972 Law studies at the Free University of Berlin
1972-1977 Active escape agent; pre-trial custody in East Berlin as well as imprisonment in Brandenburg
1978-1992 Continuation of his studies at the Free University of Berlin, employment at the Axel Springer publishing house in Hamburg
1992-2003 Employed at the Ministry of the Interior of the State of Brandenburg

Profile

I was born in Königsberg, Prussia, in the last days of the war. Following our expulsion, I grew up in the GDR - on the island of Hiddensee in the Baltic Sea. The Wall was far away and life appeared free to me. It was in Leipzig where I first witnessed restrictions and repression. I studied literature and librarianship, but was not allowed to read the books I wanted to. I made the decision to escape to the West. My desire to live a free and self-determined life was inspired not least by my visits to West Germany before the wall was built, when I went to see my father in Hanover. I was deeply affected by the Prague Spring and the spirit of political awakening at the time, so I travelled to Bratislava, and from there to the Austrian border. The border guards stopped me and put me on a train back to Leipzig. The thought of escaping, however, would never leave me after that: I tried to get out on a ship via Danzig and in a West German car through Bulgaria, but both attempts failed. On 28 April 1970, I hid in a cupboard in the loading space of a West German lorry. I made it that time, the inspectors along the transit route did not find me. As a form of thanks for helping me during my own escape from the GDR, I returned the favour to eleven more people who also escaped to freedom. During one such escape in October 1972, I was arrested by the Stasi after an informant revealed our plans. Following a five-year prison term, the West German government managed to buy my freedom in 1977.

Berichte

"Schmuggeln und geschmuggelt werden" - Peter Bieber erzählt im Jugendmagazin Fluter über seine Flucht. Artikel von Hannah Mann, Fluter, 23.10.2019.

"Im Schrank versteckt aus der DDR geflohen" - Peter Bieber und Kheder Abdulkarim berichteten Jugendlichen in der Gedenkstätte Lindenstraße 54 von Flucht und Haft. Peter Bieber entkam 1970 aus der DDR, Kheder Abdulkarim war sechs Jahre in Syrien inhaftiert. Artikel von Anne-Kathrin Fischer, Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, 11.05.2017.

"Wie ein Student im Schrank versteckt aus der DDR floh" - Nach mehr als 40 Jahren besuchte Peter Bieber die MfS-Untersuchungshaftanstalt in Pankow und erzählte von seinen Fluchtversuchen, der Fluchthilfe und der Haftzeit. Artikel von Anette Kuhn, Berliner Morgenpost, 13.08.2015.

 

Videos und Podcasts

"Glasbausteine in Beton" - Dokumentarfilm des Filmemachers Jacob Dodd (33 Minuten in Deutsch/Englisch), 2020. 

"Meine Wende - Unsere Einheit: Folge 32: Der Optimist" - Postcast des ZDF anlässlich des 30. Jahrestages des Mauerfalls, 28.05.2020.