Uve and Regina

Uve and Regina

Love story
Country: Germany

  1. A Love Story in Germany
  2. Uwe Karlstedt: A Life of Ambition and Compromise

A Love Story in Germany

The announcement of a book titled "I Love You" in Germany has been hailed as the sensation of the season. Priced at 19.90 euros, the book has two authors: former investigator of the IX Main Department of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR ("Stasi"), Uwe Karlstedt, and former dissident Regina Kaiser, who was arrested in July 1981. He was in charge of her case, and ultimately, Kaiser served a sentence of two and a half years for "anti-state espionage activities." However, this did not prevent her from falling in love with the young man in uniform and carrying that love forward to this day. This extraordinary romance is the subject of the book. Uwe and Regina are soon to be married, with Regina currently working as an accountant. Uwe also loves her, always has, but he kept it hidden. The intense struggle within the corridors of the Staatssicherheit ("Stasi," state security) still affects him today: Karlstedt, at 48 years old, has a dim gaze, gray hair, and deep wrinkles. In contrast, his 53-year-old fiancée looks radiant - her eyes sparkle, and her chestnut hair shimmers with gold.

Uwe Karlstedt: A Life of Ambition and Compromise

In the early 1980s, Regina was an activist in one of the banned democratic movements in East Germany. Uwe Karlstedt, an ambitious and meticulous officer, interrogated her for three months after her arrest, sometimes for 8-12 hours a day. He extracted all the necessary information from her, which was more than enough for the court to reach a guilty verdict. Kaiser found herself in a women's prison in the Ore Mountains region, questioning why he allowed her to end up in this hell. Did he disregard justice? The answer was simple: the 26-year-old investigator, a "soldier" of the Honecker regime, was merely following orders and couldn't risk his career. "It was love at first sight," Regina now says. "When he first walked into the interrogation room, I felt a certain emptiness and told myself: this person cannot be my enemy." Uwe admits, "She captivated me immediately. But the circumstances were entirely unsuitable for love. It was like trying to meet on Mars."

When the time came to part ways, Uwe trembled and confessed his deeply concealed feelings. In room 770 of the gigantic Stasi headquarters building in East Berlin, they briefly kissed each other's lips, marking the end of their "investigative romance." Regina served her sentence, was deported under escort to West Berlin, while Uwe rose through the ranks to become a major and continued working in the Ministry until the GDR's dissolution. He worked, but he never forgot about Regina and tormented himself with thoughts of her. In 1997, the former prisoner managed to gain access to the Stasi's agent index at the MGB complex on Normannenstraße in the Lichtenberg district of Berlin. She found registration numbers and the real surnames of the MGB employees, including Uwe Karlstedt, whose home phone number was subsequently easily located.

"I wanted to understand the nature of my love for him," explains Kaiser. "Perhaps it was some form of manipulation, psychological influence from his side, to break through my defensive shell and extract everything he needed from me. I wanted to meet him on equal terms, not as an accused with an interrogator." Uwe immediately recognized her voice on the telephone. He thought, "Thank God, she hasn't forgotten me." By then, Karlstedt had been married for a long time, and Kaiser was also married. However, both quickly divorced and have been living together for over five years. Now, they are planning to exchange engagement rings. Their case is exceptional and incredible, as the concepts of a "stable family" and the Stasi seem incompatible. Regina, from the MGB archives, discovered that her father, mother, and sister had been informing on her to the Stasi for years. This kind of "family informant streak" was widespread in communist Germany.

Within the GDR, the Stasi, the second most significant intelligence agency in the "socialist camp" after the KGB, employed over 90,000 regular staff members and 170,000 voluntary informants. Its personnel was fifteen times larger than that of the Nazi Gestapo, and its headquarters contained dossiers on millions of people. The shelves of its top-secret archives stretched for 180 kilometers. Its "long arms" reached dissident refugees even across the ocean, and its special courses trained 2,000 people from 15 countries, including militants from Angola, Nicaragua, Zanzibar, Yemen, and Islamists who declared war on Israel. One document, for example, reveals that in 1983, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, under the mediation of the Stasi, purchased Soviet AK-47 ammunition for $1,877,600. This colossal grinder pulverized anyone caught in its gears. However, as it turns out, there are exceptions - Uwe Karlstedt and Regina Kaiser and their remarkable (although somewhat tinged with sadomasochism) story.