German interviewees

Pfarrer Harald Bratschneider

(b 1942) is an Evangelical-Lutheran priest and a social, environmental and peace activist. From 1960 to 1965 he studied Theology in Leipzig. After being priest in a small community for 10 years, he was named responsible for youth in the local church community. There he became interested in ecological, social and peace movements. In 1980 he started a movement for defending basic human rights, named Schwerter zu Pflugscharen (Sword to Plow).
In the interview, he explains how this movement was born, his role in it and how the Lutheran Church got involved in protesting against the authoritarian regime.

Pfarrer Eckhard Moller

is an Evangelical-Lutheran priest from Martin Luther Kirche in Neustadt. He was actively involved in Schwerter zu Pflugscharen, the movement which actively protested against the authoritarian regime of the German Democratic Republic. He was also interested in other cultures: he often visited Romania, Hungary and Poland.
In his interview, he explains his role in Schwerter zu Pflugscharen and describes other local subversive movements, like Blues-Messen. He also mentions smuggling Bibles to the German-speaking community in Romania, travelling round the Eastern bloc and his impressions about Budapest and other cities in the bloc.

Arnold Vaatz

is currently a politician, member of the CDU Party. During the Communist regime, he studied Mathematics at Technische Universitet. From 1981, he worked as a researcher. He had a crucial role in October 1989: was involved in the movement of Group 20, actively protesting against the authoritarian regime. He was also the chief spokesman of the group Neuen Forum.
In his interview, Arnold Vaatz explains the situation escalating very quickly in Dresden in 1989. He also describes the chronology of the events leading to the Peaceful Revolution and the reunification in 1990.

Dr. Herbert Wagner

was an engineer in Dresden when he became involved in the dialogue between protesters and the mayor of Dresden, Wolfgang Berghofer, in October 1989. He became one of the organizers of the Monday demonstrations in Dresden. After the fall of the communist regime, Wagner became a member of the CDU political party, and was elected mayor of Dresden in May 1990. He was re-elected in 1994, but was defeated in the 2001 election. Mr. Wagner provided a personal insight about the life of citizens in the GDR. He told us about the capitulation of Stasi in Dresden and the societal changes after the reunification.

Andreas R

is a pianist and jazz musician. He studied music and is a Professor at the Music Hochschule Dresden. He had connections with the local and regional jazz and other music circles, rebelling against the authoritarian regime of the German Democratic Republic. Currently, he has numerous concerts all over the world.
In the interview, he tells how was life as a musician in the GDR times, how he fought against the regime and how musicians could get access to their musical instruments.

Video interviews can be screened here.