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Thomas Lukow
Zellengang im Neubau


Thomas Lukow

Thomas Lukow was born in Potsdam in 1959. He grew up in East Berlin and completed an apprenticeship as a forester. At the age of 18, T. Lukow left the Free German Youth (FDJ) at the age of 18.  He was banned from studying and was not allowed to pursue his dream of studying music. Alongside odd jobs as a driver, salesman and waiter, he completed a private music course at the music school in Berlin-Friedrichshain and was active in the regime-critical cultural and music scene in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood.

In July 1981 - at the age of 22 - T. Lukow planned his escape across the Czechoslovakian border. The escape failed, he was arrested and imprisoned in Hohenschönhausen. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison for ‘attempted escape from the republic’, which he served in Bautzen II.

After his release from prison in East Berlin in February 1983, T. Lukow applied several times to leave the country for West Germany, which was only granted to him in 1989. In West Berlin he initially worked in the civil service, and after German reunification as a freelancer in the Federal Chancellery, where he gave guided tours of politics and architecture.

Since 2000, Thomas Lukow has worked as a city guide in Berlin and Potsdam and as a consultant for political education at several memorial sites. He has been guiding groups of visitors through the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial since 2021 and works as a contemporary witness at schools and educational institutions for the Coordinating Office of Contemporary Witnesses.