Stalking the Stasi in Haus der Statistik. File 1

The stranger’s note arrived without ceremony. “I have a route into the big Stasi building on Karl-Marx-Allee.” An invitation to meet up the following day. “Not sure how long it will remain.”
Of course I* jumped at it.
Warning bells went off when he asked if I’d a chain cutter, but we met as arranged the next day opposite the great hulking building at Otto-Braun-Straße 70/72.
“We don’t need it,” Chunko assured me.
A high wall with overhanging ledge above the roof complicated matters but we scaled it before squirming under the ledge on our bellies. I grabbed his foot as he dangled precariously below to grab the construction barrier; lower, lower, lower – thoughts of losing grip and him plummeting to the ground – before he finally grasped it and I hauled him back over. The makeshift ladder was put to use again: up to a broken window; it swung open, I swung in, feet crunched down on broken glass, and we were in!

I looked around. An office, unfurnished, totally bare, remarkably unremarkable. We inched our way to the door, out to the corridor, completely dark, completely silent. We stopped.
“Just remember this is our escape route,” he whispered, “this door here.” I looked. Door 1043. All looked the same in the dark. As I was about to find out, they all look the same in the light. He flicked a switch; light came on. The electricity was still running!
We went on, around the corner, down another corridor. My shoes were squeaking like hungry guinea pigs – wiiieek, wiiieek, wiiieek!! Stupid rubber soles. I rubbed them with paper to desqueak de squeak but to no avail. Tip-toes from then on.

Tip-toeing towards the stairs, following signs for the library, suddenly there was the sound of whistling from below. Fuck! We froze. It stopped. We weren’t alone. We waited, waited for another whistle, but there was none. Perhaps they were waiting too, waiting for a squeak. We inched our way back, conferred in whispers – it must be security – but decided to try the other side of the building. Again on tip toes, we pushed on. My heart was in my mouth – I was sure we’d be caught – but on I went . May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.
On the laminate corridor floor, a chilling catchphrase: “Fiend ist, wer anders denkt.” The enemy is whoever thinks differently; perfectly betraying the philosophy of the Paranoia State. The Stasi motto repeated over and over and lining the floor as if marking a murder scene. In a way it was.

Continued in File 2...

* For legal reasons I does not refer to me in this instance, nor does I wish to have his or her name known. Any apparent similarities to real events, people or, indeed, illegal activities is entirely coincidental. I – in this case referring to me – cannot condone any sort of illegal activity (for self-explanatory reasons) nor would I – in this case referring to the author – want to. I stress once again: I ain’t me.


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