Manage episode 363814736 series 2312958
It’s 1966 in Berlin and the city has now been divided for 5 years by an almost impenetrable wall erected by the communist German Democratic Republic.
Together with his friends, West German student Volker Heinz joins a group looking for ways to help would-be fugitives escape from East to West.
Their search ends at Checkpoint Charlie, the most heavily secured border crossing of the Berlin Wall. By hiding the fugitives in the trunk of a diplomat's car, Volker Heinz helps East German citizens flee to the West.
However, the Stasi picks up his trail, and Volker is arrested and interrogated. We hear in detail about his time in prison, including the interrogations and fellow cellmates.
Following secret negotiations and a show trial where he is sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, Heinz is eventually swapped for two Soviet spies.
In 2001 Heinz initiated the German-British foundation Temple Gift dedicated to the reconciliation of former foes Britain and Germany. In 2012 he was awarded the Federal Order of Merit in recognition of his courage.
0:00 Introduction and Volker Heinz's story
5:19 Volker's involvement in helping East German citizens escape
20:01 Reflections on the experience and diplomatic immunity
30:25 Volker's arrest, interrogation, and time in prison
57:12 Meeting Wolfgang Vogel and trial experiences
1:02:23 Volker's prison experiences and Stasi's recruitment attempts
1:05:54 Volker's release and return to West Germany
1:09:32 Volker's post-prison life and discovery of Stasi's tracking
1:14:21 Volker's book and its contribution to Cold War understanding
1:14:41 Sponsor: Amberley Publishing
1:15:11 Closing remarks and podcast's Facebook discussion group information
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