King's Worcester

21 March

King’s German Linguists Gain First Hand Insight into the Stasi State

Last Wednesday, Heinz Holtschke, retired Logistics Director of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, visited the school to share his experiences of life in East Germany with our Sixth Form German students. Spied on by the Stasi secret service and imprisoned for planning his escape to the West, he and his wife were bought out as political prisoners by West Germany in 1985. His intermediary was the same Wolfgang Vogel who appears in the recent film Bridge of Spies. Our Sixth Formers as well as guests from Radley College sensed the underlying emotion in a personal story, delivered entirely in German and punctuated with insights, reflections and detailed knowledge, some of which is being applied to A Level research projects and all of which enabled our students to gain a unique perspective on history, politics and culture. Interviews and discussions followed over lunch and allowed further in-depth analysis of the impact of a dictatorial regime at both individual and international levels.