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The GDR Complex

by Jochen Hick

The GDR Complex

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Mario Roellig, born 1967, was raised in a family loyal to the state and to the ruling SED party. Mario worked as a waiter at the restaurant in the transit zone of the Berlin Schoenefeld Airport in the GDR. In 1985, on a vacation in Budapest, Roellig began an affair with an older male politician from West Berlin. After meeting more-or-less secretly in East Berlin and in Budapest, Roellig decided to flee to the West, but got unlucky and, in 1987 was detained for several months in the Stasi detention centre in Berlin Hohenschoenhausen. Six months after his release, the West German government purchased his freedom and he received permission to leave the GDR. In 1999 he ran into his former Stasi interrogator and suffered a nervous breakdown.

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