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Torsten Rupnow
Zellengang im Neubau


Torsten Rupnow

Torsten Rupnow was born in East Berlin in 1966 and grew up in the district of Lichtenberg. After leaving school, he trained as a chef with the GDR Council of Ministers. When part of his family decided to leave the GDR in 1984, T. Rupnow also submitted several applications to leave the country. The MfS tried to persuade him to withdraw the applications with numerous conversations and reprisals at his workplace.

In June 1985, T. Rupnow faked an escape attempt across the Baltic Sea in order to be arrested and ultimately ransomed by the Federal Republic of Germany. He was apprehended by the People's Police at Wismar railway station with diving equipment in his luggage.  He was remanded in custody in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. In August 1985, he was sentenced to one year in prison. He served his sentence in the prisons in Rummelsburg, Naumburg and Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz). He was released to West Berlin in March 1986 thanks to a prisoner release programme.  

Torsten Rupnow has worked as a visitor advisor at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial since 2014 and as a contemporary witness at schools and educational institutions for the Coordinating Office for Contemporary Witnesses since 2011.