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Sigrid Grünewald
Zellengang im Neubau


Sigrid Grünewald

Sigrid Grünewald was born in 1945 in Kahla (Thuringia). She grew up in a social democratic family in Berlin-Spandau. From 1965 to 1968, she trained as a property agent.

In 1977, Grünewald met her future fiancé during a visit to the GDR. From West Berlin, she organised his escape with the assistance of escape helpers. However, the whole plan was orchestrated by the State Security Service. She was arrested in November 1981 and sentenced to five and a half years in prison in March 1982 for "anti-state human trafficking". She was imprisoned for three and a half months at the Hohenschönhausen pre-trial detention centre and then spent the rest of her sentence at Bautzen II.

In September 1982, she returned to the Federal Republic of Germany as part of a prisoner release programme. She lived in Berlin-Spandau and worked as a management assistant in a company.

Sigrid Grünewald has been guiding groups of visitors through the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial and has worked as a contemporary witness at schools and educational institutions for the Co-ordinating Office of Contemporary Witnesses since 2012.

Further information

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

Further information (German website)

Download publication (German laguage)