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Walter Linse

Walter Linse


  • Mampel, S.: Entführungsfall Dr. Walter Linse: Menschenraub und Justizmord als Mittel des Staatsterrors (1999)
  • Kirsch, B.: Walter Linse 1903-1953-1996 (2007)
  • Bästlein, Klaus: Vom NS-Täter zum Opfer des Stalinismus. Dr. Walter Linse – ein deutscher Jurist im 20. Jahrhundert. (2008)

Dr Walter Linse completed his PhD in law and worked as an economic law expert for the Investigative Committee of Free Lawyers (UfJ) in West Berlin. In July 1952, he was preparing an international law congress in Berlin that was to focus on the manifold violations of law in the GDR. On July 8, 1952, the Ministry of State Security (MfS) dispatched a commando of hired criminals to kidnap him and bring him to East Berlin. His kidnappers abducted him near his home, bundled him into a car disguised as a taxi, and shot him in the leg to prevent resistance. Linse was brought to the central MfS remand prison in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Erich Mielke, then Minister of State Security, signed the "detention order" issued on the same day.

Linse's interrogations, which frequently took place at night, lasted until early December. During this time, he was confined with two cellmates, both of whom were informers, and in addition, the cell was bugged. Apart from his cellmates, Linse was completely cut off from the outside world. The only toilet was a single bucket, as was the case for all prisoners of that time, and consequently, the cell had a horrible stench. On December 3, 1952, Linse was handed over to the Soviet State Security Central Investigation department and taken to their main remand prison in Karlshorst. There, he was subjected to months of continued interrogation. Finally, in September 1953, a Soviet Military court in Berlin sentenced him to death by firing squad, and he was executed on December 15, 1953 in Moscow. For decades, the Soviet authorities denied any investigations into his case. In 1996, when at last his case was re-opened, the Russian authorities declared him totally innocent and cleared his name.

In 2007, Linse's role as an employee in the Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Chemnitz during the Third Reich became public. Between 1938 and 1942, he was involved in the aryanisation of Jewish property. A final evaluation of his role is still to be made.