Andreas Mehlstäubl was born in 1965 in Potsdam. He planned to leave the GDR illegally, as his application for an exit visa had been denied.
In 1987, he was arrested and sentenced to one year and six months in prison. Six months later, he was released in accordance with an amnesty agreement. In 1988, he was finally granted permission to emigrate. After the fall of the Wall, Mehlstäubl learnt that his father had been working for the Ministry of State Security as an unofficial collaborator. His task: finding a reason to arrest his son.