ZThe list contained twelve names from national security documents, twelve names of men who were honored by the SDV because they helped defend the republic on March 29, 1974. One of the twelve has been standing before the Berlin District Court since March: 80-year-old Martin N., nicknamed Manfred, is accused of shooting the Pole Czesław Kukuczka at the then Berlin border crossing on Friedrichstrasse. Kukuczka had tried to force his departure to the West by pretending to have a bomb in his bag. Instead of freedom, he found death, allegedly caused by the Stasi.

Jörg Thomann

Editor of the “Life” section of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Another of the twelve men will appear as a witness on Thursday, the second day of the trial. An 89-year-old man who walks with a walker and once worked in the main department of Stasi VI, which was responsible for passport and border control. He stated that he had never seen the defendant before. He worked as a driver – except for March 29, 1974, when he was ordered to drive an ambulance: to the Friedrichstrasse train station and from there to the Stasi detention hospital in Hohenschönhausen. Kukuczka had to succumb to his gunshot wounds there the same day; It is unclear whether his life could have been saved if he had been transported to a closer clinic.

If you listen to the witness, it seems that there was no real interest in saving Kukuczka's life. According to the witness, the paramedic did not get into the car, he as the driver was alone with Kukuczka. “He must have been in pain,” she remembers. “He sighed while driving.” After delivering the man in Hohenschönhausen, he drove back to his office – and was surprised to learn weeks later that he was to be praised. He did his job normally, “you don't get a medal for that.” But he got a bronze medal.

30776 74941 49251 62275 31674 28186 29145 92304 79815 34762 06989 35270 13255 09477 79011 01932 68983 16713 21647 47519