In 1997 two months after I applied to find out whether there were files held on me by the secret police I received a positive reply. The 6 months delay until I was allowed to read them made me think about the content, also who had betrayed me, family members, close friends? I created lots of scenarios in my head. I asked myself whether it would have been better not to know. Compared with many others the files were not substantial. I could not believe the absurd pettiness and the manpower involved in collecting, checking and vetting the nation’s mail. My files contained meticulous photocopies of my correspondence including both fronts and backs of envelops and picture postcards I had received from a friend who left East Germany. Also included were copies of teaching material I had requested from the West. I was both astonished and even disappointed, but in hindsight I was glad to know that none of my close friends or any family members had reported me. The final report suggested that I should be dismissed from my teaching job for unsuitability and being politically incorrect. As a result, I was quickly transferred to a new school in September 1989.The irony is, that I had never been involved in organised political struggle up to this point. But this is where I met another teacher with whom I became involved with a dissident political organisation trying to reform the education system.