Oliver Kloss

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Oliver Kloss • 2018

Siegmar Oliver Kloss (born June 16, 1962 in Seitschen near Bautzen ) is a Sorbian - German political scientist and philosopher .

In the 1980s he belonged to the civil rights movement and organized resistance in the German Democratic Republic , was one of the initiators of the appeal on February 13, 1982 in Dresden and, in 1986, co-founder of the human rights working group in Leipzig .


Childhood and early adolescence

As the older of two sons, Oliver Kloss came to Dresden to attend school when the family moved from the village of Seitschen . If his father had already joined the SED state party during his studies , the Protestant mother, with an educated bourgeois claim , recommended attending the Christian doctrine at the Church of the Resurrection in Dresden-Plauen. There, Oliver Kloss got to know and appreciate Dieter Brandes, an artistically gifted and cosmopolitan deacon, in the young crowd and young community . (In the 1989 revolution, Dieter Brandes became a member of the Dresden Group of 20. )

While traveling with his friend Gerolf Schmidt to the ČSSR , both of them learned about the 1968 events of the Prague Spring , they read " The Wonderful Years " from Reiner Kunze with great enthusiasm , and dealt critically with Wolf Biermann and Eurocommunism . You were the youngest in a Rudolf Bahro reading group. Oliver Kloss also took his first political pranks with Gerolf Schmidt: on May 1, 1978, they photographed the water cannons placed next to the grandstand on the Altmarkt, aimed at the May demonstration; they put in the night before the national holiday of the GDR , before 7 October, the finished hoisted national flags in the Dresden Südvorstadt before school, before the post office to the main railway station each at half-mast . The school classes led to the demonstration by the teachers in the morning were amused. In the 9th grade, Oliver Kloss decided to have a confirmation.

After leaving school, he began studying to become a lower level teacher for German, mathematics and art at the Löbau Institute for Teacher Training . As early as November 1979, the Ministry of State Security began an attempt at recruitment. At first surprised and frightened, Kloss increasingly restricted contact to the point of final refusal due to the lack of expected criminal blackmail. The only explicit threat from the MfS officer Lohse, the imminent de-registration , did not materialize after the first year of study and did not follow until the end of the second. Oliver Kloss was officially de-registered for “disciplinary reasons” for “two years of probation in production ”; unofficially announced director Dr. Schulz ( GMS ) informed him that studying at a state institution would be impossible from now on due to the cadre files .

The Löbauer Superintendent Hans-Georg Birkner, who had been trusted since the first year of study, referred Oliver Kloss to the Theological Seminar Leipzig (ThSL) , where an internally recognized humanistic high school diploma could be completed before the university study of theology. However , after completing the intelligence and psychological test, the ThSL admission committee found that “Christian motivation [was] not sufficiently recognizable” and put off another attempt the following year.

Political-subversive engagement in the GDR from 1981 until the 1989 revolution

Dresden: From the call on February 13, 1982 at the Frauenkirche to the “Forum Peace” in the Kreuzkirche

In order to fulfill the duty to work ( § 249 StGB of the GDR ), Kloss had to take a job as an unskilled worker. He admired Solidarność in Poland, but - bearing in mind current experiences with the real working class in the VEB tire plant - thought GDR citizens were not ripe for strikes. Even more than an application to leave the West with an indefinite waiting period, Oliver Kloss was tempted by the opportunity to damage the GDR state in a publicly effective manner.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the topic of “peace” moved most young people because of the omnipresent ideologically charged conscription propaganda. In addition, the militarization of public life had increased, as not only shown by military education as a school subject and the paramilitary GST camps for students. Hardly any male youth could study without the obligation to do at least three years of military service. At the same time, the GDR state praised the government-critical peace movement in the NATO states, which was allowed to demonstrate legally.

It was not until Annett Ebischbach (alias Johanna, later married Kalex), Nils Reifenstein and Torsten Schenk that Oliver Kloss found allies in the search for a brilliant idea. Torsten Schenk introduced him to Christoph Wonneberger , the pastor of the Weinbergskirche . Although Oliver Kloss admired his initiative for a Social Peace Service (SoFd) , bearing in mind the well-balanced politicization of the church, he was looking for the possibility of an even more provocative mass action for the state beyond the organizational forms of state and church.

Torsten Schenk also came up with the idea of using the history of Dresden and the commemoration of February 13, 1945 , which the churches remembered every year with bells ringing. Together with Annett Ebischbach, they drafted a leaflet calling for February 13, 1982 , for an illegal gathering at the Frauenkirche to commemorate the destruction of Dresden . The appeal was distributed along the lines of the chain letter. The next day, the three authors of the appeal discussed with Nils Reifenstein and Mac Scholz the GDR-wide distribution. The MfS later opened the OV "Ruin" operational process for these five people . Elke Schanz and Heike Kerstan, trainees in the Dresden newspaper printing company, the VEB Grafischer Großbetrieb “Völkerfreundschaft” , found the courage to illegally print the leaflet in considerable numbers. In view of various interrogations and threats with up to eight years imprisonment for the “ringleaders” of a “grouping of people” to “riot” (§§ 217 and 218 StGB of the GDR ) the mood shifted both in the closer initiative group as well as in the further approx Group of 50 people who actively supported GDR-wide dissemination. After the first conversation with State Youth Pastor Harald Bretschneider , Oliver Kloss also surrendered to the majority's mood and accepted the offer of legalization. The "Forum of peace" in the cruciform church was with more than 5,000 participants, the largest event of state critical peace movement and also experienced appreciation in the Western media.

The memorial “Swords into plowshares - stones of impetus for a movement that changed the country” in front of the south portal of the Kreuzkirche, installed in 2010 to commemorate February 13, 1982

“The initiative group for the appeal on February 13, 1982 undertook a regulatory experiment with the state that was supposed to pose a problem of legitimacy. In view of the constitutionally guaranteed but de facto non-existent right to freedom of assembly, the call to assembly was a clear provocation. The difficultly defamable and at the same time massively effective content “peace”, on the other hand, made open state use of force more difficult. In short: The initiative group consciously pursued the subversion of the official enemy image and in this way questioned the state ideology itself. Although the intention was ultimately largely - and in view of the pressure of persecution, also with the overwhelming approval of the initiators - by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony and channeled from the Frauenkirche into the Kreuzkirche, a state-critical one grew in the GDR both in the church and in its surroundings Peace movement, whose actors they were later able to expand into a civil and human rights movement. "

- Oliver Kloss

From 1980 to 1982 Oliver Kloss dealt with works by Immanuel Kant , with expressionism , absurd theater and existentialism from Jean-Paul Sartre to Albert Camus to Nikolai Berdjajew , as well as Karl Raimund Popper's falsificationism, but also with off-the-wall and humorous ones Marxists like Adam Schaff or Franz Loeser . Inspired by Christoph Wonneberger, he also turned to the theory of nonviolent resistance by Gandhi and Theodor Ebert .

Leipzig: The Theological Seminary and the Human Rights Working Group up to the 1989 Revolution

In the fall of 1982, Oliver Kloss was Rector Ernst Koch on Theological Seminary Leipzig (THSL) enrolled, although the approval of the National Church Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony was granted until the following spring. After graduating from high school, Kloss gained an insight into the East German punk movement during an internship in social and diaconal youth work with Uwe Kulisch and Bernd Schröder . On the occasion of an action on the World Day of Peace on September 1, 1983, he and others were identified and interrogated in Berlin until the next morning.

The Theological Seminary estimated Oliver Kloss as quasi-extraterritorial education field. He enjoyed the structural- historical approach from the historian Karlheinz Blaschke , gained a socio-historical understanding of the beginnings of Christianity and the late antiquity from Christoph Kähler (Biblicum), received an overview of the history of religion (Islam from Karl-Wolfgang Tröger ; Buddhology from Heinz Mürmel ), glimpsed the ancient Near East from the Old Testament students Wolfram Hermann and Hans Seidel, enjoyed the systematization of ethics with Joachim Wiebering, was able to deal with philosophy with Ernst Koch, among others, with literature, psychology. Kloss finished his direct studies after two years; He had completed the Latinum, but in view of the political arrest of his partner in Berlin at the time, Carola Hornig, he was unable to take part in the Graecum exam, which had little prospect for him. As a visiting student, he remained connected to the ThSL until the successful end of the GDR. He had submitted an “application for permanent departure from the GDR” in order to be able to choose a less language-intensive course in western Germany. He earned his living as a part-time postman, light pause, as a tour guide in the care of Polish and Czech vacationers and as a nude model at the Leipzig University of Graphics and Book Art (HGB) and at the Dresden Art School .

The Theological Seminary in Leipzig was not only an "island in the red sea" ( Wolf Krötke ) as an educational institution , as the largest of the three non-state evangelical universities in the GDR, it mainly attracted personalities who were politically conscious of overcoming the GDR state found worth. Many protagonists of the 1989 revolution were students of the ThSL or came from its environment.

As a result of his examination of the history of social and ideas, Oliver Kloss has been advocating a pro- capitalist left-wing liberalism since the mid-1980s , which values the social achievements of reformist social democracy in Western societies as a condition for the possibility of further individualistic ennoblement of humanity.

In 1986 Oliver Kloss was one of the founding members of the Human Rights Working Group (AGM) Leipzig. Steffen Gresch had Peter Grimm of the Initiative for Peace and Human Rights invited from Berlin to a reading to Leipzig. Among those present was Christoph Wonneberger , meanwhile pastor at the Lukaskirche in Leipzig-Volkmarsdorf. The AGM emerged from this event . Kloss was involved as their delegate in the GDR-wide working and coordination group on the military service problem , moderated by Heiko Lietz and organized in the Samariterkirche in Berlin . In Leipzig, the Ministry for State Security ran the Operative Personal Control OPK “Rechtler” through Oliver Kloss . When he withdrew his application to leave the country on March 15, 1989 when he was invited to the Department of Internal Affairs , he could not have known that the MfS had ordered his “quick release” from GDR citizenship for that day as a result of a publication in the Berlin “Umweltbl Blätter” . He assumed at the time that the subversive groups would be able to overcome the GDR state in the next two years, so every opponent of the GDR state would be needed. He did not want to experience the political punch line of his youth in front of the television in the West.

Until the autumn of 1989, the Human Rights Working Group was one of the conscious subversive groups in preparation for the mass demonstrations that delegitimized the dictatorship, along with the Leipzig Justice Working Group . The AGM was one of the co-authors of the non-violence appeal for the decisive October 9, 1989.

Even before the two groups were dissolved, the majority of their employees had joined the Peace and Human Rights Initiative (IFM) , including Oliver Kloss. He represented the civil rights organization at the Education Round Table in Leipzig.

Work since the unification of Germany

On the day of monetary union in 1990 , Oliver Kloss left for Sweden , visited the European Nuclear Disarmament Convention in Helsinki (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) and then spent months in the Baltic States and the still- Soviet Union , returning to Germany, which has since been reunified Poland back. From the end of 1990 he worked at IFM Saxony as their elected state manager until the organization was dissolved into Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen . When Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen in Saxony ran an election campaign for black and green in 1994 , he left the party of which he was a co-founder. After this election campaign, she lost the parliamentary group in the Saxon state parliament until 1999. In the New Forum , Oliver Kloss was elected to the federal executive committee soon thereafter and until 2000.

After training as a DTP specialist, Oliver Kloss studied political science as a major (especially with Hartmut Elsenhans , Wolfgang Fach , Christian Fenner and Klaus-Gerd Giesen ) at the University of Leipzig , and psychology and philosophy (especially with Ulla Wessels , Hans -Jürgen Engfer, Georg Meggle and Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer ). In order to be able to understand Hartmut Elsenhans' lectures in depth, he also heard macro-economics from Spiridon Paraskewopoulos. In 2002 Oliver Kloss graduated with a Magister Artium .

In 2003 and 2004 he was involved in the protests against “ Agenda 2010 ” and the Hartz laws .

From 1992 to 2008, he married the Egyptian artist Mona Ragy Enayat and had a daughter in 1998. During this time the family visited Egypt at least annually; In preparation for the Frankfurt Book Fair 2004, Kloss was a publisher's appraiser in Egypt.

In the archive of the Leipzig Citizens Movement V. , Kloss was a member of the board for ten years, today he is the chairman of the archive of the Initiative Peace and Human Rights Saxony e. V. active, therefore active in GDR research and as a contemporary witness.

In political science he is particularly interested in political theory as well as international relations and the transformation of societies. His philosophical interest is particularly focused on socio-philosophical and ethical topics, analytical philosophy , the history of philosophy and Friedrich Nietzsche research.

In October 2015, he and 46 other GDR civil rights activists from various political camps signed the open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel , initiated by Katrin Hattenhauer , in which it says at the beginning: “We support your policy of open borders. We support your refugee policy and your efforts for the sake of the people. With the greatest respect, we see your firm stance on accepting asylum-seekers in Germany [...] 70 years after the Holocaust, Germany opens its borders and saves people from need and death. "

Also in October he took part in the German delegation of former GDR civil rights activists to the International bikeathon along DMZ in Korea (bike ride along the demilitarized zone , i.e. along the border between North and South Korea) as part of the National Culture Festival for the peaceful unification of Korea . Wolfgang Templin remarked in his speech on democracy in the Nikolaikirche on October 9th, 2015: “It is a wonderful symbol when Christoph Wonneberger, Gisela Kallenbach , Oliver Kloss and other Leipzig former opposition members are on a bicycle tour along the north and South Korean division border. ”In 2009, Oliver Kloss gave a lecture in Seoul comparing the unification of Germany with a possible unification of Korea.

After working in the cultural field until 2006, he devoted himself to teaching assignments at the University of Leipzig (from 2005), at the Management Academy Riesa , at vocational schools and institutions for adult education in Leipzig, Dresden, Jena, Halle and Berlin, particularly in ethics, conflict theory, developmental psychology, Communication theory and social studies.


  • Thomas Mayer: Who doesn't give up. Christoph Wonneberger - a biography. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2014, ISBN 978-3-374-03733-9 , pp. 137–140, excerpt .
  • Frank Richter : We are so free. The »Human Rights Working Group«. In: Andreas Peter Pausch: Resistance - Pastor Christoph Wonneberger , Berlin, Metropol, 2014, ISBN 978-3-86331-184-1 , pp. 189-195.
  • Klaus Ehring (pseudonym of Hubertus Knabe ) / Martin Dallwitz (pseudonym of Ulrich Mickan ): Swords to plowshares. Peace movement in the GDR. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, 1982, ISBN 3-499-15019-0 .
  • Wolfgang Büscher, Peter Wensierski, Klaus Wolschner, Reinhard Henkys (eds.): Peace movement in the GDR. Texts 1978–1982 , Hattingen, Scandica, 1982, ISBN 3-88473-019-3 , pp. 265-281.
  • Sylvia Kabus : Nineteen eighty-nine. Psychogram of a city. Beucha, Sax Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86729-041-8 , p. 166.
  • Hermann Geyer: Nikolaikirche, Mondays at five: the political services of the time of the fall in Leipzig . Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2007 (University of Leipzig, Habil.-Schr. 2006), ISBN 978-3-534-18482-8 , table of contents .
  • Reinhard Bernhof : The Leipzig protocols . projekte verlag, Halle 2004, p. 32 as well as autumn marathon - interiors of a revolution. Leipzig, 2006, ISBN 3-938442-13-1 , reading sample .
  • Frank Eckart (Ed.): Eigenart and Stubbornness. Alternative cultural scenes in the GDR (1980–1990). With an inventory catalog of the Research Center for Eastern Europe , Bremen, Edition Temmen, 1993, ISBN 978-3-86108-307-8 , pp. 202–204.
  • Ehrhart Neubert : History of the opposition in the GDR 1949–1989. 2nd Edition. Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin 1998 (Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 2000) ISBN 3-86153-163-1 .

Web links

Commons : Oliver Kloss  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

TV and radio documentation

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Thomas Mayer: Who does not give up. Christoph Wonneberger - a biography. Leipzig, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2014, ISBN 978-3-374-03733-9 , p. 137.
  2. Neither a declaration of commitment as an unofficial employee (IM) nor the declaration of confidentiality required after further contacts were refused were signed by him. He deconspired with fellow students Uwe Feierabend, Sven Despang and Sabine Kahle.
  3. Frank-Jürgen or Frank Lohse, b. July 6, 1943, personal identification number PKZ 060743 4 21032, first lieutenant and later captain of the MfS, was also responsible for the operational processing of Sabine Kahle, Oliver Kloss's partner at the time, with the aim of pushing her out of her studies, what after In her case, Oliver Kloss's de-registration was just as “voluntary” as it was for Sven Despang, since the course of the proceedings was perceived as threateningly arbitrary.
  4. Only after the de-registration was the file IM “Hansi” of the Löbau district office of the MfS closed, the final report attested: “It showed a lack of meeting discipline, [...] the information obtained was not of high operational value. As a result of checks carried out, it was also found that the IM did not fully report on problems despite being aware of them. […] In his attitudes, decadent and Western views were increasingly evident. ”(Dresden AIM“ Hansi ”4687/81 , BStU page 76 or in the AOPK file “ Rechtler ”1853/88 , BStU pages 44 f.).
  5. That is, it was given the request that it be copied with a typewriter and passed on. The SoFd initiative had already gained notoriety with this method. A maximum of seven legible copies of each copy could be made with carbon paper as copies. Any non-artistic reproduction without government permission could be criminalized in the GDR.
  6. ^ OV "Ruine" of the district administration of the MfS Dresden . The OV name "Ruine" alluded to the condition of the Frauenkirche, which had once been declared a memorial to the Second World War in its destroyed form.
  7. ^ Call for print on February 13, 1982 in Dresden by Elke Schanz and Heike Kerstan.
  8. See or listen to the audio digitized peace forum in the Kreuzkirche on February 13, 1982 .
  9. The event was reported with images in the evening news of western television stations, in newspapers and magazines - e.g. B. GDR: Diligent signatures. The SED worries about a new protest movement in the GDR: Young people demonstrate by the thousands against armaments and militarism . In: Der Spiegel . No. 8 , 1982, pp. 28-31 ( online - February 22, 1982 , PDF ). - as well as promptly documented in book form: Klaus Ehring , Martin Dallwitz : Schwerter zu Pflugscharen. Peace Movement in the GDR , Reinbek near Hamburg, Rowohlt, 1982, ISBN 3-499-15019-0 ; Wolfgang Büscher, Peter Wensierski , Klaus Wolschner, Reinhard Henkys (eds.): Peace movement in the GDR. Texts 1978–1982 , Hattingen, Scandica, 1982, ISBN 3-88473-019-3 , pp. 265-281.
  10. Oliver Kloss: The Dresden Call for February 13, 1982. In: Forum Political Education. Issue 1 (2013). Edited by the German Association for Political Education - State Association of Bavaria, ISSN  0941-5874 , p. 41 f.
  11. See example from: Franz Loeser : Breakthrough of the new sex. Creativity and Morality of the Future , Berlin, 1976.
  12. Cf. transcript, Basic Features of Nonviolence , Dresden, Weinbergskirche, 1981.
  13. Together they took part in actions in Berlin in 1983, e.g. B. " Fasting for Peace ". Cf. Thomas Klein : Peace and Justice. The politicization of the independent peace movement in East Berlin during the 1980s , Böhlau, Köln / Weimar 2007, ISBN 3-412-02506-2 , p. 168 ff.
  14. See Wolf Krötke : Islands in the Red Sea. The church universities in the GDR as an example of free church education. Lecture from December 2, 2014 on the dies academicus at the University of Leipzig; Eberhard Jüngel spoke of "oases in an ideological desert" (ibid).
  15. In the words of the Ministry for State Security: "The theological seminar represents a concentration point for people with a politically indifferent to politically negative attitude. The training at this facility is theologically and politically strongly oriented towards Western models of thought." (Captain Otto and Leutnant Grießbach: opening report to initiate the OPK "Rechtler" of 14 August 1987. p 3, in: AOPK "Rechtler" 1853/88 ., BV Leipzig Stasi, Dept. XII, BStU page 10.)
  16. Not only the founding members of the Human Rights Working Group and the Justice Working Group were students and guest auditors of the ThSL , also in 1989 the speakers of the New Forum such as Jochen Läßig and Edgar Dusdal or Andreas Schurig as co-founders of the SDP in Leipzig and many more
  17. Oliver Kloss: Contribution to the discussion on the military service problem. (Extended version of the lecture, given on April 1, 1989 in the Samaritan community in Berlin in front of the "GDR-wide working and coordination group on the military service problem" of "Peace Concrete") , in: Forum for Church and Human Rights No. 2 ( 1989), published by the Human Rights Working Group of the Lukaskirchgemeinde Leipzig-Volkmarsdorf in cooperation with the Working Group Gerechtigkeit , Leipzig, Samizdat , pp. 4-14.
  18. IFM Archive Saxony e. V. (Ed.): From the MfS files on the Leipzig Human Rights Working Group: Selection from the archived Operational Personal Control AOPK “Legal” of the Leipzig District Administration of the Ministry for State Security of the former GDR. AOPK "Rechtler" 1853/88 of the Leipzig District Administration Department XII Archive , Leipzig, digitized, 2014.
  19. Cf. Joachim Güntner: These friends of freedom remain undeterred. They are immune to Ostalgie for all time - a visit to Leipzig civil rights activists from 1989 , in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NNZ). International edition, No. 233, October 8, 2009, p. 23.
  20. Martin Tröster: The intoxication of the revolution threatened a massacre. The Monday demonstrations in Leipzig hit the tumbling SED regime peacefully but violently. We spoke to those on the front lines. In: Mannheimer Morgen, September 4, 2014, p. 3.
  21. ^ Working group Gerechtigkeit Leipzig, working group human rights and working group environmental protection: Appeal of the organized resistance of October 9, 1989 for non-violence ; IFM archive e. V .: Leipzig human rights groups 1989, sheet 9: October 9, 1989 - day of the decision . 3. Edition. 2009
  22. See e.g. B. Call of over 400 scientists on May 23, 2003: Reforming the welfare state instead of reducing it - fighting unemployment instead of punishing the unemployed , Spiridon Paraskewopoulos : Critical comments on current economic policy "Agenda 2010" (Lecture of October 20, 2003 at the event with Ottmar Schreiner ); Albrecht Müller : The reform lie. Munich, Droemer Knaur, 2004, ISBN 3-426-27344-6 ; Arno Luik : A putsch from the top , in: stern No. 44 of October 21, 2004, p. 64 f. or in the retrospective of Gustav Horn : Des riches fat booty. How inequality is ruining our country. Frankfurt am Main, Campus, 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39347-6 .
  23. See e.g. B. Objection to Hartz IV from September 28, 2003, declaration by members of former GDR opposition groups: “We protest against Hartz IV” from August 29, 2004 and Oliver Kloss in an interview with the ddp , in: Freie Presse from October 4, 2004.
  24. Oliver Kloss: Open words to Leipzig “activists of the last hours” of the former “GDR” - a decade on the board of the Leipzig Citizens Movement Archive. V. - A statement on the current situation in Leipzig (with attachment: A fake in the lexicon: Christian Dietrich's "Initiative for the Democratic Renewal of Society" ), Leipzig, 2012.
  25. Deutsche Welle: The open letter to Angela Merkel in the wording on refugee and asylum policy of October 23, 2015.
  26. ^ Report on the DMZ bicycle tour for the reunification of Korea , in: Magazine of the Federal Association of Koreans in Germany, No. 12 2015, p. 35; Björn Meine: Leipziger on a peace trip in Korea. In: Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ) of January 11, 2016, p. 16.
  27. Wolfgang Templin : Speech on democracy in the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig on October 9, 2015 .
  28. Oliver Kloss: The Treatment of the East German Power Elites in the Course of German Reunification , Seoul, 2009; Translation in Korean: Korean-German Society for Sociology (Ed.): East German power elites before and after the reunification of Germany - Lehren für Korea./ German Unification and Power Elites in the East Germany - Lessons for the Korean Unification , Seoul, Hanul Books, 2011, ISBN 978-89-460-5312-0 , pp. 15-56.