Bautzen Memorial's office for period contemporaries
Further work on the Bautzen Memorial is only advisable and possible in intensive cooperation with the victims. Documenting the period of imprisonment in particular still requires intensive research, for which we rely on the support of former inmates in Bautzen I and II.
Many sources have now been lost. Files or photographs pertaining to the imprisonment itself are not always available. In addition to archival sources, we must rely on personal recollections as well as documents and objects in the possession of private individuals. This material can make injustice suffered in the past accessible to present-day visitors. The office for period contemporaries is the basis for this part of the research work.
It is intended as a facility for period contemporaries who would like to preserve personal recollections of their own time in prison or to preserve for posterity the circumstances of the incarceration of relatives. This helps to create a more comprehensive and precise picture of prison conditions. The period contemporary alone stipulates the type of record (written, oral, tape recording), the site of the conversation and the extent and the use of these historic sources. These sources are naturally subject to the statutory regulations safeguarding privacy. In addition to these unique personal recollections of time in prison, we are also interested in documents such as rehabilitation statements, pardons and applications for pardon, contemporary photographs, letters from the time in prison and original documents or copies of documents from the archives of the German Federal Commissioner for the Stasi documents. Strictly with the permission of the persons concerned, such documents could be used in the future exhibition and in project work with schoolchildren as contemporary documents.
Ascertaining the fate of a prisoner
The office for period contemporaries is also available for ascertaining the fate of political prisoners in the Bautzen prisons on behalf of relatives, institutions and researchers. We have at our disposal prison card files and lists of names which can be used to determine the circumstances of the imprisonment and, in applicable cases, the death date of specific individuals. To process queries we require the surname, given names, the year of birth and information about the time frame of persecution (for example the period of Soviet occupation 1945-1950).
Questionnaires for surveying period contemporaries:
Questionnaire: Imprisonment during the National Socialist dictatorship
Questionnaire: Imprisonment during the SED dictatorship
Questionnaire: Imprisonment in special camp / by Soviet military tribunal