University of Cambridge > > German Graduate Research Seminar > "Feind ist, wer anders denkt"/ "The Dissenter is the Enemy"

"Feind ist, wer anders denkt"/ "The Dissenter is the Enemy"

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Daniel Jonah Wolpert.

a guided private tour of the German Embassy's exhibition

Via Britta Foerster

Gesine Krönig and I have booked a guided private tour of the German Embassy’s exhibition “Feind ist, wer anders denkt”/ “The Dissenter is the Enemy” in German (details below and attached).

It will take place on Thursday, 11 February, at 5pm in the German Embassy, 22 Belgrave Square. We’ll be meeting at 3pm in front of Cambridge train station (for the 3.15pm train to London).

We’d like to let all students of German (and staff) know about this great opportunity to get in touch with Germany’s newer history – they are welcome to sign up for this tour by writing an email to (by 10 February).

Participants will need to bring along some form of photo identification.


Explore the Real Lives of Others!

From 8 to 17 February 2010 the German Embassy is inviting you to a private view and guided tour of “Feind ist, wer anders denkt”/ “The Dissenter is the Enemy” – an exhibition about the State Security Service in the GDR . The exhibition will be on display at the German Ambassador’s Residence at 22 Belgrave Square in London and tours are available both in English and German. Please find additional information in the attached flyer.

Booking is essential, please send your enquiries to:

We look forward to welcoming you to this exhibition at Belgrave Square! The Culture Section at the German Embassy


From the foreword to the exhibition catalogue:

“In the German Democratic Republic, anyone that stepped outside the prescribed ideological boundaries, expressed independent or critical views on freedom and disarmament, who raised the issue of human rights in the GDR , or wanted cultural autonomy and chose an alternative lifestyle, expressing their own youth culture in the form of dyed hair or creative ideas, or secretly planned their escape from the GDR , in short anyone who ‘thought differently’, and wanted to live in freedom, was considered an enemy of the GDR and was criminalized. Legislation and the judiciary became the tools of those in power. Those affected were surrounded by a network of informers and denouncers, and were subjected to overt attempts at intimidation or underhand psychological methods aimed at breaking their spirit and resistance.

‘The Dissenter is the Enemy’ exhibition focuses on the structure, methods and operations of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR . It sheds light on the perpetrators on the one hand and on the victims of the MfS on the other. And it features individuals who offered resistance by challenging the all-powerful, crushing rule of the SED .

Our growing knowledge about the working of the State Security in the GDR also contributes to an understanding of the repressive measures of other Communist dictatorships in Central and Eastern Europe, since the structures and methods used by these state security services are very similar. This European dimension is understandably coming under increasing scrutiny.

Understanding the mechanisms of dictatorship and tyranny, and discovering how people live under conditions of dictatorship is not just of historical interest. Across the generations these insights can help us today to recognise and value more open forms of society in Germany and in Europe and to respect freedom campaigns and resistance to dictatorship. Herein lies possibly the most effective defence against the appeal of new totalitarian ideologies. “

This talk is part of the German Graduate Research Seminar series.

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