Some thoughts from Moabit Prison (Germany)

… A letter from Berlin.

The cell is 6.20 × 2.60. It has a door with a peep hole and there’s a window. In front of it are thick bars which are already corroding, do not worry, they still keep doing. Probably the next one hundred years. Behind the bars, there is a tightly woven wire mesh to make sure the prisoners cannot exchange things.

The cell also contains a wash-bowl, a bed, a small desk and chair. Besides a cupboard. Above the bed there is a narrow board. If I lay below it I see above me „White Power“ and a swastika. Both burned in it with a lighter. The board is designed for books. I only have the library books, so there is also tobacco, and other stuff on it. Everything not to have to get out of bed. The bed creaks with every move and you can surely hear it in the other cells.Why say surely, I do hear the others.On my arrival I was handed a bundle consisting of two blankets. (Your know these disaster blankets from the television. They also have them in the military, but I hope none of you were there) In any case mine says „JVA Moabit 1977“, I got another date on my mind.Wrapped in the blankets are a cup, a bowl,
cutlery, jail clothes that could be even older than the blankets. Then a letter with a few papers, a toothbrush, a comb, a pen. These are your first possesions.

„The first 24 hours under arrest are the worst“ everyone says. I‘d put it differently: „The first week is fucked up!“ You have no plan of nothing. No one tells you anything about time limits for example (for shopping, books, etc.).You can only request something if you feel anything is weird. Some inmates shortly speak to you in your cell to ask if you have tobacco, at least they did to me. Since I had it with me when I was arrested I could say yes. Unfortunately, I had no lighter. It was taken away from me. But I noticed that right in the second when the door closed. So shit. There you lay on the bed. Listen to the outside. The other prisoners are in a good mood, making jokes in the hallway. I do not have a clock that was already a problem in police custody. I have no sense of time. I note the things I need to remember when I have the chance to convey something to the
people outside. This feeling is happening to you more often. For example during visits. You know you‘ll have visitors today. But if the application was not allowed and your lawyer could not tell you, you lay there and wait. The door opens: „Speaker!“ (which means visit), you jump up, run. You forget a bag for the things the visitors can buy directly from vending machines, so you carry the stuff with you in the communal cell. The note with the things you wanted the people to do for lies on the cell table. Books will be sent to you,you have to concentrate to remember all the titles,to write them down back in the cell. You have to write them down on a special note called „Vormelder“ for the prison staff because otherwise the books do not arrive. Today I know there came a lot of books but I got them after the arrest.

Visit is strange. Though your relatives stand with you the situation is unreal. You are sitting there with your mother and father, a friend or comrade besides a special police man and a member of the prison staff. Thirty minutes are gone very quickly. Sometimes you sit longer in the communal cells before and after the visit, than the visit itself takes. If there are more than ten people with you in the cell you start counting them. My record was 13 I think. In winter that is funny, in summer a reason for a house alarm. After the visit, the day is saved. You think of the tasks, you talked about, the nice words and think of the next day. Maybe you‘ll get mail. Post sweetens the day in a way you can not describe in our society. If you get some post on a day, everything is fine. It becomes unbearable, if you know people send something to you, but you do not get mails for a week. Inside you can defend yourself only conditionally. You internalize that the love and solidarity in your heart cannot be taken away from you. The yearning is bigger, and if something comes, everything is approved. For me the censorship is one of the most perfidious ways of the state to apply pressure, which is used behind bars. The thoughts you have behind bars are beyond imagination. They blast the walls. And in the moment when your love and your friends receive you at the gate you forget it all.

What remains is the hatred, the hatred about the fact that people lock up other people. That only a few can imagine a different, free life and fight for it.

Jail is part of the system, the system is a jail. Burn all prisons! Freedom for all!


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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 11:51 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.