Siegmar Faust

German writer and former political prisoner

Siegmar Faust is a German human rights activist and writer. As a young man, his outspoken protests against the autocratic government of East Germany caused numerous conflicts with the Ministry of State Security—the Stasi—one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in history. As an aspiring writer, Faust was expelled from university and arrested for publishing “subversive propaganda.” In 1974, he was sentenced to four and a half years in jail and spent most of his imprisonment in solitary confinement. While in prison, Faust illegally published a handwritten newspaper for inmates called “Poor Germany,” the title of which was a parody of the official state newspaper. The government released Faust in 1976, under domestic and international pressure. Faust has been a member of the International Society for Human Rights since the late 1980s, and he currently serves on its board of trustees. He is chairman of the Association of Political Persecution of Communism (VPVDK) and of the Association Against Forgetting. He is a board member of the Cottbus Human Rights Center. In 2013, he was curator of the exhibition Plaid Cloud: Political Persecution 1933–1989. He is a member of the Presidium of the Free German Authors Association.

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