Years Without Hope
In 1955, Werner I Juretzko was accused of and tried for anti communist activities. He was sentenced to 13 years of incarceration for so-called ”crimes against Article 6 of the Constitution” of the German Democratic Republic. This is his story. More
The date: Aug. 19, 1955.
The setting: A cheap hotel room in Schwerin, East Germany. Outside, the wind howls on an unseasonably chilly August evening. A thunderstorm crackles ominously in the distance.
Twenty-three-year-old Werner Juretzko has just returned from yet another dangerous mission collecting information for a western military intelligence service. He's tired from a typical day of evasion and deception, and he's about to go to bed.
Suddenly, there's a sharp knock at the door. Juretzko darts to the window and prepares to leap from his second floor room.
But outside, several KGB/Stasi security agents surround his hotel.
He realizes he's caught. Juretzko tears up several incriminating photo negatives and eats them. Then he opens the door to find several guns pointed at him. He surrenders.
That's where the harmless movie scenario ends and the harsh reality of Cold War brutality begins.
Juretzko was arrested and thrown in prison. For the next six years, he eked out a miserable existence between various East German jails. He was beaten, tortured and saw several friends executed.
"Forty-one western operatives ended up dead - and those were just the ones I knew," he says.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Werner I. Juretzko was born in the city of Rydultau/Rydultowy in the region of Upper Silesia.
In 1955, he was accused of and tried for anti communist activities. He was sentenced to 13 years of incarceration for so-called ”crimes against Article 6 of the Constitution” of the German Democratic Republic. As a political prisoner, he spent six years of his imprisonment in the infamous underground torture chambers of the Stasi secret police in Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen, the notorious “RED Ox” in Halle and other inhuman, barbaric prisons such as the Brandenburg - Goerden penitentiary. Currently, he is a successful entrepreneur, political activist and historian who lives in the Midwestern region of the United States.