The scandals surrounding the former GDR state security ("Stasi") prison Hohenschönhausen are not abating.

As recently as 2018, the long-time director and hardworking anti-communist Hubertus Knabe was dismissed for consistently looking the other way in cases of sexual harassment among his colleagues. With such a Boss, it's no wonder that among the staff and eyewitnesses who tour the former prison are numerous right-wing radicals. Increasing numbers of AfD supporters are offered the perfect working environment here. They can point to actual or alleged crimes of the revisionists while calling for a crusade against communism.


fake inmate Rainer Schamberger

A particularly blatant flowering of the anti-communist victim cult became public in September. AfD member Rainer Schamberger worked in Hohenschönhausen under a false identity. As an alleged ex-prisoner "Olexander Sbutewitsch" he guided visitors through Hohenschönhausen for years. This is because former prisoners who give guided tours are particularly good at acting as key witnesses against supposed socialism. They use their own history as a justification to make ideological expansions. Between explanations of prison conditions and prisoner biographies, visitors get Hohenschönhausen's bourgeois sermons about alleged human nature or the cruelty of collectivization. Nazi criminals arrested in 1945 and punks arrested in 1985 are equally declared victims of a red "totalitarianism" against which parliamentary democracy is supposed to be defended. As long as the visitor is given such a message, the "memorial" fulfills its purpose from the state's point of view. For that, there may be a few more chauvinists.