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Monika Schneider
Zellengang im Neubau


Monika Schneider

Monika Schneider was born in Freital (Saxony) in 1956. She trained in the region as a skilled worker in clothing technology and medical chiropody.

Schneider lived in East Berlin from 1979. She first worked as a clerk at the Berlin-Mitte District Court, later within the administration of the State Museums on Museum Island.

In January 1983, she tried to flee to West Germany via Prague with the help of her West-German boyfriend. Schneider was arrested and sentenced to two years and six months in prison in April 1983 for an "attempted escape from the Republic". This was followed by prison terms in the ČSSR, in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, in the Hoheneck women's prison and in Karl-Marx-Stadt. Her boyfriend protested at Checkpoint Charlie for her release and was even received by the Pope to tell him about her imprisonment. Schneider's two children were placed in a home and with their grandparents.

Schneider was ransomed by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1985. She has lived in Berlin since her release and worked at the District Court there until her retirement.

Monika Schneider has been a member of the Women's Circle of Former Hoheneck Women since 1994, and since 2011, has been guiding groups of visitors through the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial and works as a contemporary witness at schools and educational institutions for the Co-ordinating Office of Contemporary Witnesses.

Further information

Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (Hg.), Zeugen der Zeit. Porträts von Dirk Vogel, Berlin 2023.

Further information (German website)

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