Armin Raufeisen

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Armin Raufeisen (born November 13, 1928 in Endrejen , East Prussia ; † October 12, 1987 in Leipzig - Meusdorf ) was a spy at the intelligence headquarters of the GDR's foreign intelligence service .


Raufeisen grew up in Tilsit , from where the family fled to the Ore Mountains in 1944 . There he worked first as a hauer, later as a geophysicist at Wismut in uranium mining .

In 1957, as a staunch communist , Raufeisen committed himself to work for the GDR foreign intelligence service. He was smuggled into the Federal Republic for industrial espionage and took up a job as a geophysicist at Preussag in Hanover .

When, on January 18, 1979, the first lieutenant of the Ministry for State Security , Werner Stiller , who led a total of 32 GDR industrial spies in West German high-tech companies in the State Security's Department of Scientific and Technical Reconnaissance, defected to the West, the danger of Raufeisen being exposed became acute. Without informing his family about the real background of the hasty trip, Raufeisen drove with his wife and sons to the GDR on January 22, 1979 in order to avoid the threat of arrest in the West.

The sons, both born in Hanover, did not want to come to terms with the situation and return to Hanover. While Michael, who was already of legal age, refused to sign the citizenship application and was finally allowed to leave the country again in December 1979, the underage Thomas had to stay with his parents in the GDR.

The departure of the adult son also changed Armin Raufeisen's status in the State Security: Since he now had a first-degree relative in the Federal Republic, his full-time work with the State Security was terminated.

After the family's application to leave the country had been rejected by the GDR authorities, Raufeisen explored possible exit and escape options. To this end, he contacted CIA employees, a smuggling company, West German journalists and the West German embassy in Hungary . These efforts did not go unnoticed by the State Security; one was informed, among other things, by an agent of the state security at the Lower Saxony state security in Celle . On September 11, 1981, the family was finally arrested and taken to the State Security Pretrial Detention Center in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen . The son Michael, who lives in the West, only found out after a year from a West Berlin lawyer what had happened to his family. After more than a year of pre-trial detention, Raufeisen was charged with " unlawful border crossing " in a particularly serious case, treasonous agent activity (§ 100 StGB of the GDR) because of illegal contact with representatives of foreign powers - meaning the Federal German embassy in Budapest and contact with his own son - and espionage ( Section 97 of the GDR's StGB) was sentenced to life imprisonment. His wife received seven years imprisonment, the son Thomas received three years imprisonment on the basis of §§ 213 and 100. All three were taken to Bautzen II prison to serve their sentences . Thomas served his full sentence in Bautzen II prison. In September 1984 he was released and was allowed to travel to Hanover to join his brother. The parents remained in detention. On October 12, 1987, Armin Raufeisen died under circumstances that have not yet been clarified after a biliary operation in the Kleinmeusdorf detention hospital . Pulmonary embolism was given as the official cause of death . Charlotte Raufeisen was released from custody in Bautzen in September 1988 after completing her sentence, but was not allowed to leave Germany until April 1989.


  • Thomas Raufeisen: The day on which father told us that he was a GDR spy. A German tragedy. Herder Verlag: Freiburg 2010 ISBN 978-3-451-30345-6 review

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