* 1964 IN GOSLAR
MOVING TO THE GDR FOR LOVE
Frauke Naumann and her cousin Kai have known each other since they were children. They fall in love at a family gathering in 1983, but the relationship has its complications. Frauke lives in Goslar, Lower Saxony, while Kai is a GDR citizen and is completing his military service in the National People’s Army (Nationale Volksarmee, or NVA). Because members of the GDR army are not allowed to have any contact with the West, the pair can only meet in secret.
Kai believes in the GDR political system and does not want to live in West Germany. Frauke Naumann moves to the GDR to be with him in March 1986. The wedding is planned for May, but the date must be postponed; after six weeks in the reception centre (ZAH) in Röntgental and several more in Güstrow, she still has not received GDR citizenship. Frauke Naumann has a sobering and difficult beginning in the GDR. She is homesick and misses her friends. She works as an office clerk, but is treated coldly by her colleagues: When she tries to sit with them in the staff canteen, they get up and walk away, and hardly anyone talks to her. Kai does not understand her problems. After only a year, the marriage is over.
You can’t seriously believe that you’ll be able to get married on 17 May. Forget it. You’ll still be in the reception centre!
Frauke Naumann must reorient herself. She loves riding and, with a great deal of effort, is able to find a training position as a horse breeder in 1987. The work is tough, but she gets used to her life in the GDR and makes friends. When the wall falls in 1989, Naumann must make a choice: stay in Mecklenburg or move back to Goslar. In the end, she decides in favour of her new home. She likes the Mecklenburg countryside and its people. Frauke Naumann still lives in Güstrow today and is the editor of a local city magazine.
UNDER EXAMINATION AT THE ZAH RÖNTGENTAL
Frauke Naumann registers at ZAH Röntgental on 3 March 1986. She is accompanied by her fiancée, Kai. They are immediately separated without even the chance to say goodbye to one another. Naumann is brought to the quarantine station, where she is forced to completely undress and submit to a physical examination. Only after 48 hours is she allowed to join the other people seeking to immigrate to the GDR. She doesn’t dare speak with her roommate, Edith, at first. She is woken every day at 6:30 and, after breakfast, she is usually sent to the interrogation room, where she is always asked the same questions. There is only one goal at the reception centre: humiliation. Names are completely taboo; reception centre employees indicate whom they wish to speak by pointing a finger. The Stasi’s blackmailing techniques are subtle; for example, Naumann is forced to dissuade one of her cousins not to leave the GDR. She remains under surveillance by an MfS employee (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, the Ministry of State Security) for years after her release. He visits Naumann at home regularly to question her regarding her life in the GDR and her contacts in the West.