Former inmates recall life in Erich Honecker’s GDR prisons

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there remain Germans who tout the legacy of the German Democratic Republic. The oft-heard claim that “not everything was bad about the GDR” and that the Soviet-allied state had great day care facilities, as some still assert, strikes 68-year-old Manfred Wilhelm as utterly absurd. He was a political prisoner.

In 1981, Wilhelm was sentenced to eight and a half years behinds bars for the crime of inciting hatred against the state — just for telling a few political jokes to friends and in bars. He was locked up in Brandenburg-Görden prison, where Erich Honecker, the leader of the GDR, was once jailed by the Nazis.

Great Britain polices tweets, Justin hopes to take us down the same road. They’ve learned the wrong lessons.