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Peter Keup: From Communist Dictatorship to Free Democracy

an image depicting the commemorative installation at the workhouse

Thursday November 14th 


Thirty years ago, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall opened. Peter Keup describes what life in the GDR dictatorship was like. His father was a Communist, and after the Communist Party was made illegal in West Germany, he and Peter’s mother moved to the GDR. When Peter was 16, his parents applied to move back to West Germany, but their application was denied. Ostracized from society and under constant surveillance, Peter discovered dancing and became a professional dancer. In 1981, Peter attempted to flee. His plan was discovered, and he was imprisoned for ten months. Freed by the Federal Republic of Germany (through an arranged exchange), he moved to the West in 1982. Thirty years later, he discovered that his brother had worked for the Stasi (the GDR’s secret police).