Sep 17 2019

Hamburg, Germany: Letter from One of the Park Bench 3 from Holstenglacis Prison

Saturday August 10, 2019

Hello everyone !

It has now been a little over a month since we three of the Park Bench were arrested and, in a second time, two of us were taken into custody. In this letter, I would like to describe a little bit about my personal situation, here in jail. I can not say anything about the charges or the progress of the court process, because we can not communicate between people involved. I can only agree with the council not to indulge in speculation, gossip and panic.

The solidarity and support we receive here are wonderful and breathtaking. The many letters, the words of greetings, the photos and the gather give us strength and confidence. You are awesome.

Now, preventive detention. This means, here, at least during the first months, 23 hours of confinement in 10 square meters, with bed, table, chair, wardrobe, toilet and sink. An hour’s walk in the courtyard, in my case with the other prisoners on my floor, alternately morning or afternoon. We wake up at 6:30, with a loud alarm, lunch is at 11:30, dinner is served at 16:30 and must also be enough for breakfast, because in the morning there is only hot water or tea. Food is usually enough to make ends meet, but those who want a balanced diet depend on the “canteen” to buy things from the prison. Every Wednesday, the lists of orders, in German language, are collected the next day. Saturday, we will get our order. It’s not exactly cheap and it’s paid with the money from our account at the prison. On top of that there is the money we had in our pocket at the time of the arrest, the money sent from the outside and our insignificant salary, if we work during preventive detention. Unlike detention following a conviction, here work is not an obligation and we work mainly in prison services – cooking, cleaning, painting, laundry ….

Other “privileges” – a rental radio, a rental television, participation in sports groups, discussion circles, courses, etc. must be requested from the school management and, of course, all the prison bureaucracy works only in German. Processing of these requests takes at least a few weeks. The prison guards are extremely abrupt and all information on daily life in prison must be drawn through their noses, the questions annoy them and they give answers reluctantly and in anger; only a few speak English. Continue reading