"I simply marvelled at this woman. At her commitment, the energy she invested, the way she convinced people of it, or how she made it clear to artists, too: people, do what you can, but don't do anything that means to defame the GDR or make the GDR look bad, instead make art. And that's why such wonderful things came into being".
Rainer Menzel, born in Dresden in 1945, moved to East Berlin with his parents in 1959. After graduating from high school, he was trained at the Officers' College in Zittau before and then joined the border troops in East Berlin. From the 1970s onwards, he was a political officer and was responsible among other things for the political education of soldiers and training of officers. In the days of upheaval in November 1989, he was appointed press officer of the Mitte border command and in this position was also responsible for cultural events at the border wall. This is also how he met Dave Monty and Christine MacLean. Menzel supported the creation of the East Side Gallery to the best of his ability and is still convinced of its great importance today.
"I stood firmly and completely by this state, the GDR [...] Of course, I was occupied with a lot of questions, but I only really began to think about them and began to ask myself questions from the middle of 1989 onwards."