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Lothar Schulz

Lothar Schulz

Lothar Schulz was born in 1950 in Alt Ruppin. In 1972, he completed his studies of thermal engineering at the Technical University in Dresden, receiving a diploma in engineering. He then worked as coordinating engineer for the installation of a Soviet nuclear reactor in Lubmin/Griefswald. Because of his high motivation and strong knowledge of Russian, Schulz was under consideration for a post-graduate program at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. However, he refused to join the SED, and as a result, his candidacy was rescinded.

After several failed attempts to progress his career and an unsuccessful application to emigrate, Schulz led a protest against the SED at the center of East Berlin in April 1978. Amidst a crowd of interested passers, he was arrested, detained, and interrogated for forty hours without sleep by the State Security Service in Berlin. Afterwards, he was transferred to the Stasi detention centre in Rostock and remained there for five months. Because his protests were mentioned in Western press, Schulz was charged with alleged anti-state motivations with an expected prison sentence of seven to nine years. He was sentenced to one year and ten months' imprisonment for the "impairment of state activity."

Schulz was released at the end of 1979 as part of an amnesty agreement within the GDR. He worked as a janitor in the Stendal Cathedral. During this time, his conversations in his apartment were monitored and listened to regularly by a Stasi official, unbeknownst to Schulz. Meanwhile, Colonel-General Bruno Beater, deputy to head of the Stasi Erich Mielke, denied his requests to travel to the West.

After three years of a seemingly hopeless struggle, the Stasi listened to a telephone conversation in which Schulz expressed his plan to carry out a second protest of larger scale in the center of East Berlin. Barely three months later in May 1981, to Schulz's surprise, the GDR permitted his official departure to the FRG. Lothar Schulz then had a successful career as an international project manager and consultant for Western industries in the field of software systems.

Since December 2015, he has been a visiting speaker at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial.