ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Solidarity With German Political Prisoner

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
20 Oct 96 07:01:35 EDT

Dear friends,

the following forwarded message reports about the plight of
a prisoner in a Luebeck (Germany) jail for interfering while
seeing that a pimp beat up a prostitute on the street. The
pimp later died of his injuries in hospital and the man was
sentenced to life confinement. He was kept in solitary
confinement during the first 9 years of his inprosonment and
his letters are being observed. The report below details how
the man was allowed to have visitors for 30 minutes and since
then has been put in solitary confinement again for allegedly
trying to organise a left-wing-extremist group from inside the
prison, an obviously absurd claim.

Clearly, neither the imprisoned man nor the people writing the
report are anarchists. They seem to come from a marxist/autonomous
background but we think this does not matter at all. What is
happening here calls for an outcry, no matter who is concerned and
also, the only way that Rainer - the imprisoned man - has a chance
against the prison authority is solidarity from outside the prison.

In solidarity
(on behalf of A-Infos Germany)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From: Tom Burghardt,
To: Robert, 101607,2566
Date: 19.10.1996 06:45

Subject:ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Solidarity With German Political Prisoner

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Date: 11 Oct 96 10:57:18 EDT
Subject: Rainer Dittrich


P.O. Box 32277 - 61322
Tel-Aviv, Israel
Tel: (972 3) 546 96 51
FAX: (972 3) 604 08 27



Rainer Dittrich was sentenced about ten years ago by the
district court in Hamburg, Germany, to life in jail, officially
for allegedly having murdered a pimp in that town. He, as well
as his friends, maintain that this was a trumped-up charge,
behind which were political motives. The version of the matter
told by Rainer himself and his friends read that Rainer had,
while passing a street in Hamburg, witnessed a man manhandling a
woman in a very brutal manner. He interfered in order to help
the women, using his fists and feet. However, having been at the
time a young and strong man, he interfered in such a way that the
"gentleman" had to be hospitalized and later died of his
injuries. Only thereafter, when in jail, he became aware of the
fact, that he had interfered in matters between a pimp and "his"
prostitute. As if this would change anything. Also a pimp should
be prevented from beating up "his" prostitute....

During the first nine years of imprisonment, until August
1995, Rainer was totally isolated in solitary confinement. The
last few years, however, he was allowed to write, and receive
mail with many people and friends - most certainly all of it
painstakingly censored by the prison authorities. After easing
his solitary confinement, he could meet with other inmates, and,
albeit very seldom, receive visitors. In his letters, Rainer
told us of meeting other "politically open-minded" inmates with
whom he discussed matters.

According to Rainer's version, while in custody pending his
trial, certain interrogators from the German security services,
accused him, without coming up with any real evidence, that when
he immigrated in 1978 from the then German Democratic Republic
(GDR) to western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), he had
allegedly been "infiltrated" by the GDR "Staatssicherheit"
(STASI) for spying purposes. Rainer wrote me in one of his
letters that even now, from time to time, "they" continue to
interrogate him about this accusation. Whether true, or not, he
and his friends think that this is the reason behind his unjustly
being sentenced to life imprisonment. Friends of ours in Hamburg
remember that before, and during Rainer Dittrich's trial, there
had been several manifestations by left-wing groups, demanding
his release and cancelation of the indictment, or, at least to
change the murder charge into a charge of accidental manslaughter
- but to no avail.

For two and a-half years, we have been writing each other
letters, and have developed a close friendship by mail. Rainer
had asked a woman living near Tel-Aviv, he has corresponded with
already for a longer period, whether she could find me (Hans) and
ask me to write to him, since he is reading sometimes articles
and commentaries written by me and published in German papers,
and liking the political views expressed in them. Accidentally,
this woman is a good friend of ours, and very active, together
with us, in the Gush-Shalom peace bloc. Since then, we have a
written relationship with Rainer, and became good friends.

As a matter of fact, at least at the beginning of our
correspondence, we did not mind the reason for Rainer to be
jailed for life. We started the connection out of our humanistic
belief that any person languishing in prison, no matter why, has
the human right to have personal connection with people, living a
normal life. They need it for keeping up their spirit.

This summer, when Tosca and I visited our family in Hamburg,
Rainer requested, and received - to the astonishment of some of
his friends - a visitor permit for us to meet him for 30 minutes
in the jail in nearby Luebeck. We met a 44-year old very well
informed and intelligent man (he gets many newspapers and
magazines and has an extensive letter correspondence) with deep-
rooted humanist and leftist political beliefs. He left very deep
impressions upon us about his personality, albeit we did not
share all his points of view. We found, however, a common
denominator on all matters relating to the German political
developments and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its
possible solution, such as the Middle East peace efforts,
sabotaged by the Zionist Israeli leadership and their Washington
backers. Of course, all in a much too short 30-minute meeting
with a warder being present.

After having met Rainer Dittrich, we were invited by the
"Informationdienst (Infoservice) Schleswig-Holstein" to meet some
young people, interested to hear from us about the development in
Israel and Palestine in the wake of the results of the May
elections in Israel and our assessment of the future of the peace
progress. Inter alia, this Informationdienst, is quite active
in the left "radical scene", as well as maintaining solidarity
activity with political prisoners. The meeting took place at a
club of unemployed in Luebeck, and about 25, mainly young people
attended. At first, Tosca and I told of our meeting with Rainer
who sent his greetings to the gathering. At the time of our
meeting, two of the main subjects discussed (after our report and
answering questions) were actions for the release of Safwan Eid,
who was framed-up to have arsoned a refugee home in Luebeck (his
trial is currently held), as well as organizing solidarity with
the death-sentenced Mumia Abu-Jamal in the USA.

End of July, after having returned home from Europe to Tel-
Aviv, we received a message from the Schleswig-Holstein friends
that Rainer Dittrich was again back in solitary confinement and
was not allowed to meet with anybody, not even with another
prison inmate. We asked Rainer, what was the matter, and he
answered (and I quote from his letter):

"Since June 30, I am again in solitary confinement....
pretexted by the Federal State Attorney that from my jail cell,
allegedly I am forming a left-extremist grouping with
international connections..." Further-on Rainer quoted from a
negative answer received by his lawyer, Johannes Santen, from the
Federal State attorney. The lawyer applied for canceling
Rainer's new solitary confinement and the censorship on his mail.
In his answer to Santen, the State Attorney wrote: "We have to
reject your request...because the surveillance of the mail, sent
and received by Rainer Dittrich is necessary for reasons of
security and personality research" (whatever that means? - HL).
Rainer Dittrich was not any other criminal inmate, the state
attorney maintained, "but a political prisoner who has taken
upon himself to fight the (German) state and its ruling system...
he writes texts and letters to many people of the extreme left".
Well, at least the authorities seem to acknowledge that Dittrich
was a political prisoner!

I asked his lawyer about all this. In his answering letter,
dated September 30, 1996, attorney Santen confirmed all what I
have quoted above from Rainer's letter, and added that those
accusations, raised by the Federal State Attorney against his
client, were based solely upon my visiting Rainer in jail,
allegedly used by Rainer for "mobilizing a meeting with a
possible intention of forming a left-extremist grouping with
international outlook" and "initiating a solidarity connection".

What I have to say about all this nonsense can be summarized
by the following: The behavior of the German justice, or rather
injustice establishment - and most certainly not only in Germany
- shows only how they become victims to their self-styled fantasy
brain waves a la Hollywood crime and spy film products, in order
to incriminate and torture opponents of the current regime, as
well as to brainwash the ordinary public. For myself - and I
speak also on behalf of my comrade-in-life Tosca - I meet with
anybody I like, and never have I excluded from this principle
friends, accused by the capitalist establishment of being
"leftist extremists" or "radicals", even if we differed with some
of their opinions. In many cases, we acted, and still are
acting, in common with such friends, or express solidarity with
them if they have troubles with the authorities. In this
respect, I never, also not from the Nazis when I was active in
the organized antifascist underground in Germany during the years
1936-38, until I evaded a Gestapo arrest warrant by leaving the
"Thousand-year Nazi Reich". Tosca and I are veteran communists
and never made a secret of it. Comrades and friends, with whom
we struggle for peace, for human rights, or express solidarity
with persons who have come to the dogs steamrolled by the
capitalist regime and its unjust "justice" establishment, are not
only party comrades, but more often than not also adherents to
liberal thoughts, or of a left radical world outlook. So, we
express, and act in solidarity with people like Rainer Dittrich,
or with Safran Eid, or Mumia Abu-Jamal, death sentenced in the
USA and suffering under the threat of being executed, and many
others. So, we express solidarity with, and manifest it in
actions for Mordekhai Vanunu who is jailed in solitary
confinement in Israel already since ten years for having made
public the fact that Israel is producing nuclear warheads, or
with 83-year old Professor Klingberg who is jailed, in Israel
too, in solitary confinement already since 14 years and denied to
be released on probation, after having served more than two-third
of his jail sentence for allegedly having passed on to the then
Soviet Union the secret of Israel's production of biological
weapons. We participate ever so often in vigils and manifestation
demanding the release of all Palestinian political (Intifada)
prisoners, and first of all the women among them. According to
the Oslo accords signed by Israel and the PLO. Nobody has the
right to prevent us from doing this, or to incriminate us for
this solidarity.

Now, everybody can apprehend, what we, Tosca and I, think of
that silly and, because of its foul and dangerous fantasy
stupidity, as if "mobilizing a meeting with a possible intention
of forming a left-extremist grouping with international outlook"
and "initiating a solidarity connection" was such a horrid
"crime". Well, it may seem a crime in the eyes of the Hollywood
creators of James Bond, and the likes.

Hans Lebrecht, Tel-Aviv


For further information contact:

Rainer Dittrich
BHA Marliring 41
D-23566 Luebeck, Germany (letters)


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