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Christian König
Zellengang im Neubau


Christian König

Christian König was born in January 1961 and grew up in East Berlin. After leaving school, he began an apprenticeship as a carpenter at a cabinetmaking company. König was targeted by the Stasi for making statements that were critical of the system. He was dismissed before successfully completing his apprenticeship; his further professional employment at a taxi depot was also made difficult.

König's desire to flee the GDR grew ever stronger. In order to provoke an arrest and the associated chance of being released into West Germany, he submitted a total of ten applications to leave the country between July and October 1980. Finally, on 7 October 1980, on the anniversary of the founding of the GDR, he was picked up and arrested on Unter den Linden, a few metres from the Brandenburg Gate, with a poster reading "Let me cross at last" and imprisoned in Hohenschönhausen. In particular, he was accused of incitement to "flee the republic". He was sentenced to eight months in prison on Kissingenstraße in Pankow for "interfering with state organs in their activities". This was followed by spells in various Berlin prisons, as well as the Brandenburg and Karl-Marx-Stadt prisons.

With the help of a lawyer, Christian König was released into West Germany in May 1981 and has lived in West Berlin ever since. 
He has been guiding groups of visitors through the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial since 2022.