Krystina Hauck

* 1970

  • "I didn't feel like a prisoner. I hadn't done anything wrong. I hadn't done anything criminal in my own eyes. I was in love and I wanted to follow that man. And whether it was in the East or in the West or anywhere else, I didn't care. I didn't feel guilty. Was I a political [prisoner]? That's a difficult question. No, not really. I committed a crime in a state that abused people. But it was no reason for me to do that. I had no political motives. I was in love, nothing more. But nothing less either. That's why I got into this situation."

  • "We had a meeting in September and agreed to meet again in October. And then the phone call came. I turned eighteen in September and the day after my birthday I applied for leaving the country to reunite my family. I waited for that particular day to be really of age officially. And we arranged to meet in Karlovy Vary in October. He even told me on the phone that he had bought me new jeans, something great, and asked me to lose some more weight. I didn't weigh much, only 53 kilos! But I just did it, I didn't eat anything for three days and this way three kilos disappear immediately. Then we went there. The people from the West arrived at the hotel over two hours late. We were waiting and waiting. Then some time they came, he took me aside and said, 'You can come with us this time.'"

  • "I had the great advantage of being a sportswoman, doing acrobatics and being even slimmer in those days. It was obviously tight in there. There wasn't much room to move. I was squeezed in, wearing leggings, a T-shirt and some sort of knitted jumper. Nothing else. It was the exact space where the fuel tank used to be. And because of the air circulation, I could breathe. I couldn't even get out. If there was an accident? That thought never occurred to us. We started moving, and then we stopped at the border. I knew that if he stopped, it was the border. I think I knew there were three barriers, two on the Czech side and one in the Federal Republic [of Germany]. 'We'll have to stop three times,' they told me. But of course there were other reasons why the car could stop. Twice we started and then the third time the car stopped. I thought, 'Just go now, just go!' But the car didn't go any further then. I was lying in the back, and in that position and situation I had no choice but to hang on and wait to see what would happen next. The minutes seemed like hours. It took ages."

  • "Then again, I remember being in pre-trial detention in Pilsen or Cheb, in one of these prisons. There I was sitting in solitary confinement for ten days. I understood immediately what it meant. Nothing belonged to me anymore. [There was] almost no food, nothing to drink, no contact, no telephone. I was locked in there for ten days, isolated. I couldn't lie down, there was no bed, I had to sit for twenty-four hours, I often fell to the floor from exhaustion. And the fact that someone is watching you when you go to the toilet! It was bad. It was ten days in which I grew up. Before that, I was a teenager, a little girl. I grew up fast, in there. I knew I had to hold out there."

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    Praha, 02.08.2022

    duration: 01:38:35
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I was only convicted because I fell in love

Krystina Hauck und Holger Frenzel before the escape
Krystina Hauck und Holger Frenzel before the escape
photo: Witness´s archive

Krystina Hauck was born on 14 September 1970 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany (GDR). She fell in love with a boy whose family was later permitted to go and live in West Germany. She could only meet him in Czechoslovakia, where they were both allowed to go. Immediately after coming of age, her boyfriend tried to take her across the Iron Curtain in the boot of his car near Cheb, but they were exposed. After staying in Czech custody, she was extradited home to the German Democratic Republic, where she spent more than a year in prison. She was only released on amnesty on 9 November 1989, the very day the Berlin Wall crumbled. Immediately afterwards, she moved to the West. However, the damaged relationship with the boy she had wanted to escape with could not be restored. To this day, she still has been attending therapy and coping with the consequences of her imprisonment, fearing cramped spaces and fast cars. She was rehabilitated in the Czech Republic thanks to the initiative of JUDr. Lubomir Müller, but the financial compensation was only symbolic.