Steffen Gresch

Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg
* 1965

‘Seventeen million people … They’re not trying to rise above the wall – but rather to the skies! For a cold shower is forecast for these pink slobs! (1985)’ Lyrics from a song by Steffen Gresch

Biografie auf Deutsch
  • Opposition/Bürgerrechtsbewegung
  • Kunst/Kultur/Literatur
  • Mauerfall 9. November 1989
  • Ausreise/Ausbürgerung
  • Englisch

Biographical information

1965 Born in Quedlinburg
1982-1984 Training as technician at a chemical factory near Halle on the Saale – volunteer artistic work with a youth theatre group
1984-1985 Nursing work in a medical facility in Leipzig. Composed and performed anti-system protest songs during this period
1986-1987 Application for an exit visa – job as cleaner and messenger at a church-run college in Leipzig – organising and conducting oppositional meetings and events
1987 Relocation to West Berlin


In 1986, I submitted an emigration application to resign my GDR citizenship in Leipzig. From that point on, all I could do was wait. I did not conceal my decision to my friends. My main objective now was to bring together different people who were all united by a firm belief in freedom of opinion. A reading I organised in my home, where Peter Grimm and I introduced the new oppositional newspaper Grenzfall (‘Border Case’), marked the beginning of a fertile cooperation between East Berlin and Leipzig. Regular meetings took place. We looked for adequate locations or drafted the meeting agendas. The big day arrived on 24 May 1987: in the basement of St. Michael’s church in Leipzig, our human rights working group presented itself to the public for the first time. Our performance, ‘Ich bin soo frei!! - Das Menschenrecht Meinungsfreiheit im Gespräch’ (‘I am oh so free – debating the human right to freedom of opinion’), was very well-received. I was unable to witness any more of these events personally, however, as the regime effected my ‘relocation’ (border guard jargon) to West Berlin, and I suddenly found myself in Marienfelde.


Steffen Gresch im Gespräch mit Schülerinnen und Schülern (Video):

Bei dem Projekt „Stimmen der Opposition“ führen Schülerinnen und Schüler Interviews mit einem Zeitzeugen. Es entsteht ein Bild der DDR-Bürgerrechtsbewegung, gesehen mit den Augen der heutigen Jugendlichen. Das Zeitzeugeninterview mit Karsten Dümmel wurde veröffentlicht. Eine Kurzversion finden Sie hier.

Projekt der Deutschen Gesellschaft e. V., gefördert durch die Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung.