Primary Sources

Excerpt from Freye Klier's Diary


Freya Klier was a leading theatrical director in East Germany. She and her husband, Stephan Krawczyk, were outspoken critics of the East German regime and were among the leading organizers of the counter-demonstration during the annual Liebknecht-Luxemburg parade in January 1988. This is an excerpt from Klier's diary in which she records the events of that day.

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Freya Klier, diary entry, 16 January 1988, trans. Jon Berndt Olsen, Abreiskalender: Ein deutsch-deutsches Tagebuch (Munich: Knaur, 1989).

Primary Source—Excerpt

January 16 [1988]

8pm: Stephanus Foundation. Meeting with the group "Solidarity Church."

Just like over the past few days, the Stasi kept close to me and followed me right up to the edge of the church property.

We prepared for the meeting in May, and reached an agreement about the Luxemburg-Demo for tomorrow morning. The “Solidarity Church” won’t participate, since it is mainly an initiative of the emigration self-help group. The initiative overlaps with Stephan’s [Krawczyk] and my plan from this fall to protest the ban preventing us from working. With our participation we want to draw attention to our interpretation of Rosa’s legacy – the banner has been ready, a quotation from her.... The walk out to the memorial in Friedrichsfelde has special symbolic importance for him [Stephan]. He is not just a follower of Luxemburg’s ideas; just one Luxemburg read out loud during a concert was the reason for him having to suffer under a work ban.

I arrived home (under convoy with my solidarity brothers and sisters as well as the state security) and met right away with Stephan at the "Oberkahn." Under the current circumstances I don't want to participate. Stephan is hurt. The walk out to the Cemetery in Friedrichsfelde has a strong symbolic meaning for him. He is not just a follower of Luxemburg's ideas--the reading of a Luxemburg quotation was the grounds for his work ban.

Stephan doesn't see that his cause is hurt at all by that of the emigration group. They asked him to search out quotations from Rosa for their banners this week.

He decided to go alone. A friend wants to accompany him. He too doesn't have the intent to leave the country. They want to position themselves far away from the others in the parade that files past the government members. There he plans to pull out his banner from under his coat and hold it high for at least 30 seconds.

It will no longer be Luxemburg's words. In order to distance himself a bit more from the emigration group, he painted the words "Against the Work Ban" in red paint on a new blank bed sheet.

How to Cite this Source

Freye Klier, "Excerpt from Freye Klier's Diary," Making the History of 1989, Item #467, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:26 pm).

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