1937 Born in Berlin 1957 Abitur in Bad Harzburg (Lower Saxony) 1957-1964 English and Latin American Studies in West Berlin, Durham, Heidelberg and Oxford 1961-1964 Arrested on charges of aiding escape and subsequent imprisonment at the Stasi remand prison in Potsdam and the Brandenburg-Görden prison 1964 Release purchased by the West German government 1970 Doctorate 1967-1984 Assistant, Academic Council at the English Seminar of Ruprecht Karl University in Heidelberg 1984-2002 Professor in the Department of Medieval Studies and English Linguistics at the University of Cologne
Manfred Görlach holds a PhD in English and is a retired Professor of Medieval Studies and English Linguistics at the University of Cologne. Born in Berlin, he grew up near the inner-German border in Lower Saxony. He began his studies at the Free University of Berlin in 1957 and experienced the effects of the Berlin Wall's construction first-hand. In 1961, he was among the students allowed to visit East Berlin despite the tight border restrictions on West Germans in general. During these visits, he served as a courier for one family and later helped a fellow student escape to West Berlin. When Görlach attempted to contact another student in Potsdam who wanted to leave the GDR, the Stasi intercepted one of his letters and arrested him. Following pre-trial custody in Potsdam, he was sentenced to four years in prison and moved to Brandenburg-Görden. In 1964, the West German government arranged a deal for Görlach to be released to West Germany. In West Berlin, he was able to resume and complete his studies, receiving his doctoral degree in Heidelberg in 1970 before being appointed to a tenured professorship at the University of Cologne. He published his GDR prison memoirs in two volumes titled Eingemauert ('Walled In') in 1991-92. He returned to Heidelberg in 2003.
"Die Geschichte zum Sprechen bringen. Zeitzeuge Manfred Görlach am Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium: Als Student verhalf er zwei Frauen zur Flucht aus der DDR und kam dafür ins Gefängnis", von Marion Gottlob, in: Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 3. April 2013. --> Dokumentation der Schülerinnen und Schüler am Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium in Heidelberg.
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