Uwe Schwabe

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Uwe Schwabe (born May 4, 1962 in Leipzig ) is a German civil rights activist from the 1989 Peaceful Revolution .


Uwe Schwabe trained as a maintenance mechanic and later signed up for three years of military service with the NVA . Due to disciplinary violations and political unreliability, his application to become a seafarer in the GDR merchant fleet was rejected and his suitability for cross-border traffic was denied. From then on, he worked in his apprenticeship until he quit in 1987 and kept afloat with odd jobs. From 1988 to 1990 he worked as an auxiliary nurse in a church nursing home. In autumn 1988 he refused to serve as reservists with the NVA and was demoted to soldier in spring 1989.

Today he lives in Leipzig with his wife and two children.


In the mid-1980s, Schwabe got to know the young congregation of the Nikolaikirche and was inspired by their activities. From 1984 he participated in the preparation and implementation of their prayers for peace. He himself was involved in various initiatives in the Leipzig opposition scene. In addition to environmental issues, from 1987 he became involved in the "Life Initiative", which he co-founded. He was one of the organizers of the Pleiße memorial parades and the Leipzig Street Music Festival on June 10, 1989. In January 1989 he was detained for seven days for distributing leaflets. Even after 1990 he remained loyal to the civil rights movement and was involved in various Leipzig associations. Schwabe has been working in the Contemporary History Forum Leipzig (ZFL) since 1994 . Since 1993 he has been chairman of the Leipzig Citizens Movement Archive

In 1995 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his social commitment. On the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall, together with Christian Führer and Christoph Wonneberger and the Archive Citizens Movement Leipzig e. V. won the German National Prize in 2014 .

In March 2012 he was a member of the 15th Federal Assembly . Schwabe is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Saxon Memorials Foundation for the Remembrance of the Victims of Political Tyranny , of the Advisory Board for Social Reconstruction / Victims and Remembrance of the Foundation and of the Advisory Board of the BStU. On June 13, 2019, Uwe Schwabe was elected First Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board of the BStU; he was re-elected for a further five years on November 26, 2019. Uwe Schwabe was appointed President in January 2020 by the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Foundation Forum Recht of the Federal Court of Justice Bettina Limperg, appointed to the Forum Recht foundation advisory board.


  • 1995: Awarded the Federal Cross of Merit
  • 2005 Certificate of honor for exemplary moral courage from the Action Community
  • 2014: German National Prize , together with Pastor Christian Führer , Pastor Christoph Wonneberger and the Leipzig Citizens Movement Archive
  • 2019: Golden Hen in the Politics category, together with Gesine Oltmanns, Christian Dietrich and Katrin Hattenhauer


  • Christian Dietrich, Uwe Schwabe (ed.): Friends and enemies. Prayers for peace in Leipzig between 1981 and October 9, 1989. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 1994.
  • “For an open country with free people.” A story of a slogan. In: Bernd Lindner (Ed.): For autumn '89. Democratic movement in the GDR. Forum Verlag, Leipzig 1994. pp. 9-10. ISBN 978-3-86151-062-8 .
  • From East Germany to West Germany - Leipzig: Forum Verl. Leipzig, 2003
  • with Rainer Eckert (Hrsg.): Andreas Pausch: Weapons refusal in the GDR ... the only possible concession that can still be justified before the people. Archive Citizens Movement, Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-8334-1558-4 .
  • with Rainer Eckert (Ed.): Yvonne Liebing: All you need is beat. Youth subculture in Leipzig, 1957–1968. Forum, Leipzig 2005.
  • with Rainer Eckert (Hrsg.): Enrico Heitzer: “Some of them are picking up on history.”: Youth resistance in Altenburg / Thuringia 1948 to 1950.
  • Andreas Pausch (author), Uwe Schwabe (ed.): Resist: Pastor Christoph Wonneberger Metropol Verlag , Leipzig 2014
  • Achim Beier (author), Uwe Schwabe (author and ed.) : "We only have the street": The speeches at the Leipzig Monday demonstrations 1989/90 - A documentation Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Leipzig 2016
  • Autumn '89 in numbers - demonstrations and rallies from August 1989 to April 1990. In: Eberhard Kuhrt: Opposition in the GDR from the 1970s to the collapse of SED rule: Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1999
  • Chronicle: Demonstrations, rallies and strikes in the GDR from August 1989 to the free election of the People's Chamber on March 18, 1990. In: Thomas Ahbe, Michael Hofmann, Volker Stiehler: We stay here! Memories of the Leipzig autumn '89: Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag 1999
  • Its a lot to do. In: Eckhard Jesse: Peaceful Revolution and German Unity. Saxon civil rights activists take stock: Ch. Links Verlag 2006
  • The development in Magdeburg. In: Bernd Lindner: For an open country with free people: Forum Verlag Leipzig 1994
  • My way to resistance . In: Schwarwel, Strauss, Prüfer, Feustel: 1989 songs from our homeland: Happy Monday 2019


  • Peter Wensierski : The uncanny ease of revolution. How a group of Leipzigers dared to rebel in the GDR . DVA, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-421-04751-9
  • Bernd Lindner (author), PM Hoffmann (draftsman): Autumn of the decision: A story from the Peaceful Revolution 1989. Ch. Links Verlag, 2014, ISBN 978-3861537755
  • The upright walk. Opposition and Resistance in the Soviet Zone and GDR. Metropol Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3-940938-33-6
  • Wayne C. Bartee. A time to speak out. The Leipzig Citizen Protests and the Fall of East Germany: with a foreword by Uwe Schwabe. Praeger, London 2000
  • Kerry Kathleen Riley. Everyday subversion. From Joking to Revolting in the German Democratic Republic. Michigan State University Press 2008
  • Patricia J. Smith. Revolution Revisited. Behind the Scenes in East Germany 1989. Dog Ear Publishing Indianapolis, Indiana 2014
  • Per Anders Madsen. 1989 Aret som endret Europe. Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo 2019

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Uwe Schwabe (born 1962) civil rights activist
  2. ^ Page of the Robert Havemann Society: Revolution and the fall of the Wall : Portrait of Uwe Schwabe
  3. Uwe Schwabe becomes a new member of the advisory board of the Stasi records authority. Saxon Memorials Foundation in memory of the victims of political tyranny , April 26, 2016, accessed on June 14, 2019 .
  4. ^ Forum Law Karlsruhe. Retrieved on February 5, 2020 (German).
  5. ^ German National Prize 2014 for the Leipzig Monday Demonstrations. (PDF) The German National Foundation, 2014, accessed on March 12, 2014 .
  6. mdr.de: Golden hen politics goes to the Monday demonstrators of 1989 | MDR.DE. Retrieved September 21, 2019 .