Robert’s Dossier

Human Rights and the Fight against Totalitarianism

‘Robert’s Dossier’ is the story of Robert and Maria, a young couple living under the totalitarian regime of the former German Democratic Republic. The regime’s intrusion into their private live leads to personal and professional failure.


Dr. Karsten Dümmel’s novel „Robert’s Dossier“ tells the story of Robert and Maria who are living in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the former ‘East Germany’, in the late seventies and early eighties. The young couple is seeking happiness and luck while planning its escape from the GDR, withdrawing from society and surrendering to destiny at the same time. From different perspectives, episodes of the couple’s life are described. Their daughter, friends, acquaintances and relatives give their insights, thereby creating a mosaic of personal and professional failure: Robert, who was a scientist before being forced by the regime to work as cleaner, does not participate in public life anymore; Maria, once a women in love with life, is still trying to be happy in the little world of her friends and her marriage to Robert. Gradually the reader finds out that the couple will not find happiness and luck.

Dr. Karsten Dümmel, who grew up in the GDR and suffered from repression through the regime, will read an episode from his book. Thereafter he will avail himself for a discussion with the audience.

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  • Dr. Karsten Dümmel

    Beatrice Rachuonyo