Hans-Jochen Scheidler was born in 1943 in Wollhaus, now a part of Poland. In 1968, he and his friends distributed 800 leaflets protesting the Soviet intervention during the Prague Spring. He was arrested by the Ministry of State Security of the GDR and sentenced to two years and six months in prison, which he spent at the labour camp in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Following his early release in December 1969, Scheidler worked as a technician and was barred from pursuing his academic career as a physicist.
He has worked as a tour guide at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial since 2009.