Marita's book is about real life living under tyrannical government during the Cold War in East-Germany, this is the first book of it's kind in the United States of America.
In her second improved edition of her biography Marita Patos writes about her life in East-Berlin, the heart of a former dictator state. She describes how she grew up under a tyrannical government and how she and her husband tried to escape. This new edition of Marita's book includes a foreword by retired Senior Special Agent Mark Miller who has worked in a maximum-security prison in the U.S. for many years.
Marita writes: In 1976 and early 1977 my husband had written 11 petitions to leave East-Berlin. We both had enough from the dictator state. We were sending letters to the Human Right Organization. Our petitions were rejected by the City Hall District without any reason. The ministry for state security, or in short Stasi, had threatened us. We both thought a good escape plan was to kidnap a person with a car on the freeway heading to the West. Inside the car we threatened the Diplomat with a knife and an explosive dummy. My husband and I wanted the Diplomat to drive us over the Border to West-Germany. We were so desperate that we even tried to kidnap the second secretary from the Cuban Embassy in former East-Berlin. The diplomat got scared and he stopped the car. The Diplomat wanted to see our identity cards. We had our personal things in a plastic bag, so the Diplomat was holding on to our bag, it ripped apart and everything fell on the ground. We tried to pick up our personal things, but the Diplomat was screaming at us to leave everything behind. Afterwards we went back to our apartment. In the same night we both got arrested by the Stasi. We were kept in the Stasi remand prison in Berlin Pankow for seven months as political dissidents, and we were mentally and physically tortured. I was interrogated 8 to 12 hours 5 days a week. I was alone for weeks In a tiny prison cell. Each night we had to sleep by a very strict sleeping code. Every ten minutes the Stasi guards had checked the cells. For me it was almost impossible to sleep. I was in an arrest cell in the cellar for eight days. The first three days I had nothing to eat and no water to drink. After our trial I received five years and six months prison time. My husband received seven years. I had to serve my prison time in the former women's prison in Hoheneck where we had to live by strictly military rules. I wrote my story for the younger and older generations so the suffering of all political prisoners, will be remembered.
About the Author
Marita Patos spent most of her entire childhood and her early adult life in East-Berlin. She immigrated to the United States after 1985 and started a new life in the State of California. A great challenge for her was to overcome her horrible memories from the time when she lived behind the Iron Curtain in the 80's.
Foreword by Mark Miller
My involvement with the project of bringing to light the experiences of Marita Patos as recorded in her memoirs “Trapped Behind the Iron Curtain” has been a personal one.
My own experience in law enforcement as a Senior Special Agent, which included work in a maximum-security prison in the U.S., had left within me an understanding of the plight of prisoners. The difference here, of course, is that Ms. Patos was a political prisoner. She was one of many. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall many people of the present generation are already forgetting the shadow cast over all of Eastern Europe by the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. It is memoirs such as these that prevent us from forgetting the witness history and the legacy of tyranny, for George Santayana once said “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
Beyond the normal restrictions that accompany any imprisonment she was subjected to the extreme physical and psychological abuse as meted out by the notorious East-German Secret Police, the STASI (Staatssicherheitsdienst or Staatssicherheitspolizei).
As I proceeded to edit the book to ensure that it would reach a wider audience my committemnt to my task was enhanced by the sheer drama of the story that unfolded before me. The horrors and indignities that the author was subjected to would have overcome most people. The fact that she survived to tell her tale showed the inner strength that few people possess or could summenforth under the circumstances.
In the course of the editing of this book I attempted to preserve as much as possible the authentic voice of the author while smoothing the sentence structure differences between the original German structure and the present English version.
I believe that the reader of this account will find within it the same fascination and admiration that I felt when I first read this manuscript.
Author: Marita Patos
Print Length: ... pages
Publisher: Kitsap Publishing (August, 2015)
Upcoming Film in 2017 based on Marita's book: Trapped Behind the Iron Curtain