We all quietly followed the ex-inmate into the dark. As he was sitting in his windowless cell, he referred to one of Shakespeare’s immortal Sonnets which had served as his closest companion while imprisoned:
“All days are nights to see till I see thee, And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.”
We would never have expected that the emotional impact of visiting the Stasi memorial in Berlin would become relevant to our main research question: why the population of Hohenschönhausen, the site of the former prison led by the Stasi—the secret police force in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)— is so critical towards this memorial.
“Our visitor statistics show clearly that Eastern Germans continue to avoid confronting the dark side of their own past. It’s a sad development because at the same time the general denial of Stasi crimes and the embellishment of the German Democratic Republic have increased sharply.”
After extensive research in both Hohenschönhausen and Sachsenhausen—a former Nazi concentration camp located in Oranienburg— we had to conclude that the tours given by the ex-prisoners, which formed part of a carefully calibrated memorial policy, contributed to the problematic relationship between the town and the memorial, which commemorates Twentieth-century Germany was a tragic place. The succession of World Wars, dictatorships, and one extreme ideology after another left an ineffable mark on the German people. Although time has helped many to overcome their trauma, the nation’s past still weighs heavily on the German people. In order to better link its past to its present, Germany has turned many sites formerly connected to atrocities into places of commemoration. But how are these memorials really perceived? This question came to us upon hearing the story of a high school teacher who was deliberately misguided as she was taking her class to the Hohenschönhausen memorial. After further investigation, we realized that the dynamics between the Stasi memorial and the Hohenschönhausen community, indeed, were not without problems.
The Streets of Hohenschönhausen
Speaking to town officials, history teachers and professors, and random people at the streets of Hohenschönhausen made us realize that people were very distrustful towards the memorial. The moment we mentioned the word “Gedenkstätte” (memorial), some people walked away or answered offensively that they did not know anything about the memorial. Others became extremely agitated or emotionally aroused as they listened to our inquiry. It became clear that one way or another, most people in Hohenschönhausen held strong feelings about the former Stasi prison. For example, an elderly woman told us she had not visited the memorial because she was afraid of the strong emotions it could provoke. Another person became extremely aggressive while talking about the memorial and his life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Although many people recognized the importance of commemorating history, they felt that the memorial exaggerated the GDR’s negative elements.
We realized that we were touching upon a taboo topic. One could not mention the memorial; it almost felt politically incorrect. The moment we would inquire about it, people became offensive. It was as if they perceived our questioning as a personal attack. The fact that we spoke with West-German and Dutch accents, and clearly looked like non-Hohenschönhausen inhabitants, also did not work in our favor. As a result, upon mentioning the prison, an often pleasant conversation transformed itself into a hostile situation, placing us and the interviewee in opposite camps.
The inhabitants of Hohenschönhausen were almost unequivocally critical of the former Stasi prison. Although many people recognized the importance of commemorating history, they felt that the memorial exaggerated the GDR’s negative elements. For these people, the GDR also had positive aspects, which they felt were completely overshadowed by the memorial. Others were critical of the memorial because they considered it a West German project, that was forcefully imposed upon the East Germans. This criticism was almost always expressed in relation to Hubertus Knabe, the memorial’s controversial director. Former history teacher Wolfgang Matter aptly captures this sentiment: “it is as if [Knabe] is telling us what we should have experienced and how we should have felt during the GDR. He pretends to know everything, but he was not even there when it happened”. In addition, many Hohenschönhausen inhabitants were outspokenly critical of the policy of having ex-prisoners serving as tour guides to the memorial. They believed that this created a one-sided perspective and provided visitors with an inaccurate picture of history.
A small minority of people we interviewed opposed the very existence of the memorial. They thought it was ridiculous that the Stasi detention center was turned into a symbol of state repression. This is illustrated by the comments of an old Hohenschönhausen inhabitant, who believed that “every state has political enemies, and it is only but logical that these enemies end up in prison.” This group of Stasi sympathizers believed those imprisoned by the Stasi to be real criminals.
They believed that this created a one-sided perspective and provided visitors with an inaccurate picture of history.
At this point, it was clear that Hohenschönhausen and its memorial had some worrisome dynamics. However, we were still careful to view this as a special case. Could it be that every memorial commemorating local political history had a problematic relationship with the town in which it was located? Deciding to expand our inquiry, we went to Oranienburg, the town associated with the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen. Although we were aware of the limits of this comparison, we were hopeful that it could still help us better understand the troubled town-memorial relationship in Hohenschonhausen.
Oranienburg: A Contrast
Oranienburg taught us that a harmonious relationship between a memorial and its town was indeed possible. In contrast to Hohenschönhausen, the people we interviewed here did not have difficulties talking about the Sachsenhausen memorial—they seemed relaxed and ready to answer our questions without becoming too emotional or uncomfortable. We got the impression that the inhabitants of Oranienburg had genuinely accepted the former concentration camp as part of the town, and did not have strong feeling towards it. Often, people even appeared indifferent. Talking about the camp almost felt like talking about the weather; a most mundane affair. Unlike Hohenschönhausen, in Oranienburg we did not encounter a single person who was opposed to the memorial. There seemed to be a deeply-held consensus that the Holocaust should be remembered by having the concentration camp’s remains opened up to the public. By and large, the inhabitants of Oranienburg had no problem with the memorial because they believed people should simply face the past and live with it. This, of course, does not mean that everybody living there has a completely favorable opinion towards the memorial. Many of the inhabitants we interviewed said that the town still has a group of people who adhere to the extreme right-wing scene in Germany. But, the number of neo-Nazis in Oranienburg is not significantly above the East German average. Moreover, this group of extremists is socially excluded by the majority of the town. In general, the people we spoke to, including those who had grown up in Sachsenhausen during WWII, all pointed out the importance of having the memorial in their midst.
There are, as already mentioned, some straightforward reasons to account for these widely different reactions towards the memorials in Sachsenhausen and Hohenschönhausen. First, the atrocities committed in the GDR were of a different magnitude than those committed during the Third Reich. As historian Harold Marcuse bluntly puts it: “there were no good Nazis, but not all Stasi officials were bad.” In other words, the Third Reich was a genocidal regime, whereas the GDR regime can better be described as oppressive. This makes it much more likely that a memorial commemorating the atrocities of the Third Reich will be received positively, whereas a memorial established for crimes committed by the GDR might have a more critical audience.
Authoritarianism is distinct from totalitarianism, in that it leaves room for a social or civil sphere which exists apart from the political. This distinction is an important one in the context of the GDR.
It seems that a consensus about the nature of the GDR is still far from being reached. Some people are nostalgic about the GDR, and believe that everything was better the. Others believe that nothing good can be said about it. According to Gerd Dietrich, history professor at Humboldt University, the way in which people perceive the GDR is related to the particular focal points they choose; those who tend to view the GDR favorably focus on social and economic conditions under the regime, whereas those with a negative opinion focus on its political elements. The Hohenschönhausen memorial, by focusing exclusively on the political repression that occurred in the GDR, can easily be perceived as providing a distorted picture of history.
These different perceptions also shape the academic debate: here, two paradigms—one depicting the GDR as “authoritarian” and the other as “totalitarian”—clash on a regular basis. The paradigms differ in the degree to which they determine and control the structure of a society. Authoritarianism is distinct from totalitarianism, in that it leaves room for a social or civil sphere which exists apart from the political. This distinction is an important one in the context of the GDR, since utilizing one concept over the other determines the extent to which a person perceives the regime to be repressive; whether repression is extended to all spheres of the GDR, or belongs just to the political realm.
Another apparent difference between the two memorials relates to the passage of time. In Sachsenhausen, more than 60 years have passed since the atrocities took place. This not only means that most perpetrators—most of whom continued to live in Oranienburg after WWII—have died, but also that the remaining inhabitants are less emotionally attached to these atrocities. If we recall the years immediately after the Holocaust, people’s reactions were quite different. Most were reluctant to confront the past, and talking about it was almost unacceptable. Time was needed before the world was ready to recognize the horrors that had taken place. Similarly, it is only twenty years ago that the Hohenschönhausen prison served as a main detention center of the Stasi. Many of those who once worked for the Stasi and/or lived in what Knabe calls the “Stasi-Town”—the neighborhood surrounding the prison that was reserved for Stasi officials—are still living in Hohenschönhausen and are emotionally interested in, as well as connected to, the past.
Unsurprisingly, their presence continues to be felt today. For example, in 2006, a panel discussion took place concerning the former Stasi-affiliated territory in Hohenschönhausen. The audience was dominated by 200 former Stasi officials who, each time the GDR was criticized, rose up to violently attack the panelists. This is but one incident among many that shows the past to be very much alive in Hohenschönhausen. What is more, it is clear from this event that we are not talking about a handful of discontented individuals that criticize the memorial, but a well-organized group that protects the interests of the former Stasi officials. This is one of the main factors accounting for the negative reaction of the Hohenschönhausen community towards the Stasi memorial.
“Going through this door is like entering Dante’s inferno. Every step takes you to a deeper level of hell.”
Subjectivity and Rhetorical Aggressiveness – a Polarizing Strategy
Upon examining the issue more deeply, however, we realized that nature and context alone cannot account for the diverging reactions of the two towns and their respective memorials. We soon enough realized that the hostile attitude observed in Hohenschönhausen was not simply a rejection of the very idea of commemorating Stasi crimes. Instead, there was an additional problem that seemed related to how the memorial was run; specifically, that one could only enter the memorial by taking a tour conducted by an ex-prisoner.
Our tour started in the conference room where our guide, Hans-Eberhard Zahn, gave us background information about the prison into which we were about to descend. Soon, we descended into the U-Boot, the Soviet part of the prison that was used for political enemies after WWII. “Going through this door is like entering Dante’s inferno” our guide told us. “Every step takes you to a deeper level of hell.”
Despite our attempts to prepare ourselves emotionally, one is not quite ready for what follows: 72 hour standing cells, small windowless rooms cramped with twelve people for months, Chinese water torture devices. The climax occurred when our guide took us into his underground cell, where he had been imprisoned for nine months. Poignantly recalling his suffering, he recited Shakespeare’s Sonnet 43. The poem had saved him from insanity during imprisonment. We were all on the brink of tears.
We continued the tour by entering the part of the memorial that had been the former Stasi prison. In this section, Mr. Zahn, who became a psychologist after his imprisonment, told us about the psychological torture the Stasi had used as a strategy to mentally break the inmates. To give us a more vivid idea, when part of our group was not quick enough, he imitated the way in which Stasi officials would shout at prisoners.
If the tours were merely a part of the memorial experience, and complemented by a permanent exhibition dedicated to the prison’s historical development and the context in which it had existed, this subjectivity might be acceptable. Yet, in the absence of these things, the visitor’s sole source of general information is the ex-prisoners.
In many ways, this tour was very effective. It gave us a better understanding of the life of an inmate imprisoned by the Soviets and by the Stasi, and certainly left an unforgettable impression. However, in a larger context, these tours are problematic. To begin with, tours given by ex-prisoners are undoubtedly different from those given by officially trained tour guides. If the latter focuses on educating the visitors and providing historical information, the former is designed to give visitors a mainly subjective experience. In the words of Mario Röllig, an ex-prisoner and tour guide of Hohenschönhausen: “Of course the tours are subjective. After all, I am not a historian.” If the tours were merely a part of the memorial experience, and complemented by a permanent exhibition dedicated to the prison’s historical development and the context in which it had existed, this subjectivity might be acceptable. Yet, in the absence of these things, the visitor’s sole source of general information is the ex-prisoners. Emphasizing emotion over historical accuracy is problematic, because it tends to create a one-sided impression. Moreover, the emotional and personal involvement of the guides does not always result in an entirely truthful account of the past. For instance, activist Uwe Hillmer told us about a guide at Hohenschönhausen who went around telling the memorial’s visitors about the existence of a gas chamber in the Stasi prison. Although this particular guide no longer works at the memorial, such lies understandably contribute to skepticism towards the memorial.
These obligatory tours and their subjective focus form an integral part of the overarching policy of the Hohenschönhausen memorial. When we asked members of the administration why there is no permanent exhibition, they answered that there is not enough money available. Although this is probably true, this statement also shows that a subjective approach is given priority over approaches that are more historically accurate. Indeed, the memorial’s budget is spent not only to support the ex-prisoners who serve as guides, but on other subjective methods of learning, such as a play about the life of ex-prisoner Röllig which is integrated into the program for visiting schoolchildren.
One could argue that such an emphasis on the emotional experience of the visitor, and the highlighting of subjectivity over objectivity, is necessary to bring to light the horrors of the GDR. One could also make the claim that focusing on a crime, while downplaying the historical context in which it took place, might be necessary in the face of opponents that do not recognize that crime. For example, Röllig kept referring to the memorial as “the needle in the red flesh,” to reflect his conviction that for the memorial to have an impact on an alleged pro-Stasi environment, its presence needs to hurt. For him, a memorial about the Stasi past that was truly effective could never be received positively by a group of people whose sentiments were favorable to the Stasi. In fact, the hostile reaction by the local population was evidence of the memorial’s good work.
Although the Hohenschönhausen memorial is painful to many, its subjectively-minded policy seems to have created unintended effects. We noticed as we interviewed people on the streets of Hohenschönhausen that even among those who were not opposed to the existence of a memorial per se, many were still outspokenly critical of this particular memorial because of the emphasis it placed on the visitor’s emotional experience at the expense of an educational one. Their criticism was, in most cases, directed at the ex-prisoners giving the tours and the resulting historical inaccuracies.
Knabe believes that the GDR was a clear example of a regime that was “thoroughly evil.”
This speaks to yet another problematic element of the Hohenschönhausen memorial: the rhetorically aggressive posture of Hubertus Knabe, the memorial’s director. Knabe, who is from West Germany, is wholeheartedly convinced that “apart from the singer and songwriter Wolf Biermann there was nothing positive about the GDR.” He does not accept the historical ambiguity surrounding the GDR regime. Instead, he believes that the GDR was a clear example of a regime that was “thoroughly evil”.
This perspective is echoed in the memorial’s policy. For example, the commemorative stone dedicated to those who had been imprisoned under the Stasi regime reads: “To the victims of the Communist Dictatorship”. It is no coincidence that the inscription does not read “To the victims of the Stasi”. The administration of the memorial insisted that “communist” should be included in the inscription. By framing it this way, the site depicts the Stasi crimes as a direct consequence of the GDR’s anticapitalist foundatino, and not the administration’s disregard for human rights. Knabe decision to make this debatable equation reveals a specific political motivation.
Not only is his dogmatic political stance unnecessary, it contributes to people’s negative reactions regarding the memorial. For example, four different teachers from Manfred- von–Ardenne-Schule—a gymnasium in Hohenschönhausen that regularly visits the memorial—considered the memorial very important and had made the visit an obligatory part of the school curriculum. At the same time, however, they criticized Knabe’s political vision which they interpreted as one-sided and historically incorrect. This was echoed by Katrin Framke, the Town Councilor of the administrative district which encompasses Hohenschonhausen. When we inquired about the town’s general attitude towards the memorial, she agreed that overall it was negative, but differentiated between “Stasi hardliners” and those who opposed the memorial on non-ideological grounds.
Knabe’s political agenda fuels the animosity between the two groups.
Such a dogmatic and subjective policy destroys the memorial’s potential to become a catalyst for constructive dialogue. It forces people to choose between two absolutes that they may not believe in, and creates the impression that everybody who is critical of the memorial is Stasi-affiliated. Placing everybody into either a “pro” or “con” box has sealed a once permeable divide, resulting in mutual condescension. Each side is convinced that they alone uphold the moral and intellectual high ground, and that the other group is clearly mistaken. Those who view the memorial positively tend to paint an exaggeratedly negative picture of hostilities on the part of the Hohenschönhausen community. For example, they tend to mention that groups of school children visiting the memorial are frequently misguided. Although this has undoubtedly occurred, our field research reveals this to be a massive generalization. Those who tend to be negative about the memorial, on the other hand, attribute the process of commemoration to what Dietrich calls “a West German conspiracy” aimed at creating a feeling of collective guilt.
Knabe’s political agenda fuels the animosity between the two groups. He has publicly expressed “contempt and pity” for the Social Democrats because of their attitude regarding GDR history. Moreover, he constantly puts into question the legitimacy of the Left party, “Die Linke”, by referring to its close historical ties with the SED (the former GDR party). Regardless of the validity of these claims, this aggressive political strategy demeans almost 50 % of the electorate and excludes the possibility for constructive debate. These “political and moral accusations which do not allow for contradictions and ambivalences” forming the basis of Knabe’s claims have added a different dimension to an already-polarized community.
One consequence is that different stances towards the memorial are no longer seen to represent different political and/or intellectual standpoints. Instead, they become solely attributed to people’s motives. In other words, people who criticize the memorial are immediately perceived as being affiliated with the Stasi. Those who view the memorial in a positive light are considered to hold this opinion only because they are from the West, and do not genuinely understand the GDR. When people start to focus on intentions rather than arguments, it is clear that communication has failed. If the possibility has been ruled out that statements reflect legitimate opinions, a dialogue will never lead to real understanding. It is clear from the foregoing discussion that the current administration of the memorial has no special interest in engaging in a dialogue with the local population.
It is unfortunate that the strategies which contributed to polarization and alienation in Hohenschönhausen produce similar effects even in communities beyond that district. The director’s media presence is enormous; his books are bestsellers, and heavily debated in Germany’s leading newspapers. It is clear that Knabe’s ideas are affecting people far beyond the immediate population of Hohenschönhausen.
Ultimately, directly attacking people who might still hold an overly positive picture of the GDR severely compromises the memorial’s ability to have a real impact. As a study conducted by Monika Deutz-Schroeder has shown, most information that East German children receive about the GDR comes from their parents. As such, the administration of the Hohenschönhausen memorial is excluding the very group that will frame the future debate about the GDR. Bereft of all historical nuances, the memorial simply becomes ineffective.
Lessons from Sachsenhausen
Could the memorial be more effective if it adopted a different approach? The former concentration camp Sachsenhausen, whose memorial policy prioritizes objectivity, sheds light on this question. The memorial’s spokesman, Dr. Seferens, tells us that “above all, the memorial aims to educate and inform its visitors and is not intended to cause emotional breakdown.” The whole point is to encourage people to form their own opinions. In keeping with this policy, tours by ex-prisoners are not offered. This allows the visitors to gain a more historically accurate understanding of the atrocities that took place in the former camp. Eyewitnesses are not entirely left out of the educational framework, however, and are occasionally invited to give special talks at the memorial.
Sachsenhausen shows the relationship between the town and concentration camp in a separate permanent exhibition, highlighting collaboration as well as resistance among the inhabitants of Oranienburg.
The Sachsenhausen memorial policy avoids the trap of one-sidedness. Despite being associated with its atrocious Nazi history, the town of Oranienburg, together with the memorial, has made a conscious effort to stress its positive history—its tradition of tolerance—along with its tragic past. For example, it shows the relationship between the town and concentration camp in a separate permanent exhibition, highlighting collaboration as well as resistance among the inhabitants of Oranienburg. Additionally, the memorial cooperates with the Oranienburg Palace Museum, trying to encourage tourists—who often only come here to visit the former concentration camp—to experience more positive aspects of the town’s history. Factors like these may have contributed to the overall acceptance of the Sachsenhausen memorial by the Oranienburg inhabitants.
In order to become more effective, the Hohenschönhausen memorial should look to Sachsenhausen as an example. If the people running it could manage to adopt a more objective approach and refrain from imposing a certain vision upon the visitors, it would undoubtedly be received more positively by those holding ambivalent, if not positive, attitudes towards the GDR. It would also be a major improvement if the memorial left room for incorporating more of the details and nuances of GDR history. Since this history is still in the process of being shaped, it is especially important that the memorial’s administration not waste the chance to reach out to as many people as possible, and to positively influence the current discourse concerning the GDR.
Just a Memorial
Even if the Hohenschönhausen memorial were to be open to these suggested improvements, its potential to influence the political debate and to reach people in this way is limited. A memorial is, after all, just a memorial. In order to be maximally effective, it must be just one of many projects designed to bridge different histories and positions, and to help people come to terms with a problematic past. Although Berlin has other memorial sites dedicated to the history of the GDR aside from the former Hohenschönhausen prison—the Berlin Wall and its documentation center; the Manfield Refugee Center Museum; the former Stasi headquarters, featuring an exhibition about the GDR’s political system; an exhibition about the Stasi in the Documentation Center for the Federal Commissioner of State Files; a Wall Museum Checkpoint Charlie—this agglomeration of different memorials and sites is still not sufficient to create an effective and impartial basis for dialogue.
For this purpose, it would have been ideal if, after the Wall came down, a Truth Commission—a temporary mechanism mandated by the government to impartially investigate a specific part of history—were established. Such an organization would have produced an impartial report on the GDR regime, which would have helped make Hohenschönhausen’s association with Stasi repression less problematic. Apart from creating an official history of the GDR, a Truth Commission could have also provided people with a forum in which to share personal stories, and generally to listen to and understand each other. Interestingly enough, this idea was specifically brought up by two people we interviewed, each “representative” of one of the two different groups mentioned above: ex-prisoner and tour guide Röllig, and city councilor Framke, who is associated with the Left Party. Maybe there is still hope.
As long as the Hohenschönhausen prison sets the tone for the commemoration of Stasi atrocities, however, it is of utmost importance that this memorial become more tolerant of criticism. The needle-in-red-flesh policy has already influenced many. To prevent it from becoming even more damaging, Knabe and the rest of those involved in shaping the memorial’s official policy should recognize that in the case of Hohenschönhausen, an aggressive approach to history alienates a significant part of the German population, and is ultimately not the solution. Ironically, when quoted in a recent Spiegel article, Knabe recognized that there is a problem: “Our visitor statistics show clearly that Eastern Germans continue to avoid confronting the dark side of their own past. It’s a sad development because at the same time the general denial of Stasi crimes and the embellishment of the German Democratic Republic have increased sharply.” All that is left to do is connect the dots.
Antje. Teacher. Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge Gymnasium, Oranienburg, Germany. June 24, 2009.
Berger, Deidre. Director of the American Jewish Committee, Berlin, Germany. June 26, 2009.
Röllig, Mario. Tour guide at the memorial Hohenschönhausen, Hohenschönhausen, Germany. June 30, 2009.
Deutz-Schroeder, Monika. Political Theorist, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany. June 29, 2009.
Dietrich, Gerd. History Professor at Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany. June 24, 2009.
Fahlbusch, Jan Henrik. Executive Assistant at the American Jewish Committee, Berlin, Germany. June 26, 2009.
Framke, Katrin. Town Councilor for culture and services to the public, Lichtenberg, Germany. June 29, 2009.
Heyn, Ulrike. Teacher at Torhorstschule, Oranienburg, Germany. June 23, 2009.
Hillmer, Uwe. Research Assistant for the program on the SED, Freie Universitat, Germany. June 29, 2009
Hoffman, Andreas. Head of pedagogical outreach team, Sachsenhausen, Germany. June 29, 2009.
Knust, Axel. Teacher. Georg-Mendheim Oberstufenzentrum, Oranienburg, Germany. June 24, 2009.
Laesicke, Hans-Joachim. Mayor of Oranienburg, Oranienburg, Germany. June 30, 2009.
Seferens, Horst. Spokesperson for the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation, Sachenhausen, Germany. June 30, 2009.
Marcuse, Harold. Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara. June 23, 2009.
Mattern, Wolfgang. Former history teacher and inhabitant of Hohenschönhausen, Hohenschönhausen, Germany. June 21, 2009.
Thoman, Petra. Former inhabitant of Hohenschönhausen, Berlin, Germany. June 29, 2009.
Weber, Tobias. Tour guide at the memorial Sachsenhausen, Berlin, Germany, June 23, 2009.
Various history teachers at the Manfred-von-Ardenne-Schule Hohenschönhausen, Germany, June 29, 2009.
Arnholz, Katrin 2009: “The Experience of Freedom”, Goethe-Institut e. V., Online-Redaktion: http://www.goethe.de/ges/pok/dos/dos/mau/ges/en4234152.htm
Crossland, David 2009: “Berlin Stasi Museum on brink of Bankcrupty” in Der Spiegel (10.08.2009): http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,641534,00.html
Denkler, Thorsten 2009: “Nichts als die Wahrheit. Hubertus Knabe und die Linke”, in: Sueddeutsche Zeitung (19.03.2009): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/625/462244/text/
Deutz-Schroeder, Monika and Klaus Schroeder 2008: Soziales Paradies oder Stasi-Staat? Das DDR-Bild von Schülern – Ein Ost-West-Vergleich.
Fuhrer, Armin 2007: Fokus-Interview with Hubertus Knabe, in: Focus Online (29.03.07): http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/hubertus-knabe_aid_52034.html
Helmuth, Frauendorfer, “Stasi-Aufmarsch in Hohenschönhausen” In FAKT (27.03.2006): http://www.mdr.de/fakt/aktuell/2670436.html
Kleßmann, Christoph 2005: Review of Hubertus Knabe: “Tag der Befreiung?“, Die Zeit (21.04.2005).
Lohre, Matthias 2008: “Was Adenauer an East German? – Young People’s Knowledge of the GDR”, Goethe-Institut e. V., Online-Redaktion: http://www.goethe.de/ges/pok/thm/ddg/en3822678.htm
Malzahn, Claus Christian/Weiland, Severin 2006: Spiegel-Interview with Hubertus Knabe, in: Spiegel online (15.09.2006): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,437210,00.html
Weber, Corina 2009: “1989/2009 Experiencing the Political Turnaround”, Goethe-Institut e. V., Online-Redaktion: http://www.goethe.de/ges/pok/dos/dos/mau/erf/en4234118.htm
Anne Will’s Late Night Talk Show (04/26/09): “Zwischen Unrechtsstaat und Ostalie – neuer Streit um das DDR-Erbe.”
Shakespeare, William, Sonnet 43: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/43.html