Gesuchte Person: Schiller, Dirk

Anzeige-Nr. 13783

The little boy’s last traces end on a snow-covered field almost thirty years ago. On the morning of 10 March 1979 the parents were loading
the few cucumbers they had found in a store into the trunk of their car in the parking lot of a stalactite cave in former East Germany while their two kids were playing by a frozen brook on the adjacent field.
But then their six-year-old daughter returned by herself. When the startled parents asked the girl where her three-and-a-half year old brother, Dirk, was, she turned around and said surprised, “He was right behind me …“
It was the second but last day of the family’s vacation at a holiday camp the East German authorities had assigned to the Schiller Family for February – only to postpone their stay for one month, allegedly because the holiday camp was closed in February. It was also the only moment during the two weeks of vacation when the mother had left her small boy out of her sight for ten minutes since she, having already lost two children who died from diseases, was over-protective of her remaining two kids. The toddler also had two fontanels that made him especially vulnerable (soft round spots on his head where the skull failed to close).
The small boy, who was afraid of crossing bridges, must have taken the other way over the road to get back to the parking lot. When his parents searched the whole snow-covered field, they could not find any footprints leading to the brook or the river further down. And the frozen surface of the shallow brook nearby which the children had been drawing pictures into the snow with sticks was still intact.
Dirk had not drowned. He had disappeared without a trace.
The alerted East German police and fire department did not bother to secure the footprints in the snow. Instead an agent of the East German Secret Service appeared for mysterious reasons, showing Dirk’s mother his red Stasi ID card. Even today it is unknown why the man showed up at the scene, since the child’s disappearance due to an accident or a crime was not a case the Stasi would investigate into – which would be about the same as if a CIA Agent would show up within two hours after a missing child has been reported …
On the way back home to Görlitz, Dirk’s mother recalled the strange car she had noticed on the empty parking lot of the cave that had not yet been open to visitors yet. Only a few minutes after they had parked there, a dark blue car (the license plate started with the letters SF for Leipzig) had turned into the parking lot. The driver and his passenger – a man and a woman in their early thirties, dressed in grey coats – had exited the car and walked over to the entrance of the cave that would not open until 10 am. Then the couple had returned to their vehicle and driven off the parking lot. Those two strangers must have passed the small blonde boy on their way back on the main road.
Another strange coincidence is the fact that the car was a medium-sized Russian sedan, a so-called Moskwitsch model – the kind of car only party or Stasi members in higher positions had access to in the GDR.
Back home the desperate mother filed another missing person report. But she never got anything back from the investigating authorities. Her complaints and requests only resulted in the response that the authorities did not see any reason for investigations. Only a few months after Dirk’s disappearance the pregnant mother was advised by a criminal investigator to have Dirk officially declared dead. His remark was, “Oh well, you’ll have another child soon, anyway!“
A year later – in the Summer of 1980 – both parents were told by their respective work supervisors to stay home the next day because “tomorrow someone from Berlin will come see you to give you information about Dirk“. Sure enough: The next morning a yellow Wartburg rolled up and parked on the curb in front of their home. The stranger who rang their doorbell also showed a red ID card identifying him as another Stasi agent. He put Dirk’s file on the table, quickly leafed through it and said that the police had “done everything they could”. When questioned, he explained that the two strangers who had been seen in the parking lot at the time Dirk had disappeared had been identified. “But they don’t want to talk to you. They have three children of their own and therefore they have no need to kidnap a child. And anyway, they flew to Moscow.“
The man’s strange statement startled the parents. WWhy did the Stasi Agent suddenly say something about “kidnapping“? They themselves had never mentioned that word to the authorities … And why did the only witnesses who supposedly had three kids of their own refuse to talk with the desperate parents of the missing little boy? Could real parents truly be as heartless and unsympathetic? And what was their real reason for flying to Moscow? Could it be the same reason as the one their dark blue Russian medium-sized sedan was indicating? I.e. that they had to be SED party or Stasi members in higher positions? Who had flown to Moscow for additional training? Because no regular East German citizens could afford to fly off to Moscow …
More and more questions were raised but the East German authorities did not provide any answers. On the contrary: As Dirk’s mother found out later, the data about the disappearance of her son had been falsified in his file. Allegedly he had not disappeared until 1983 – and now suddenly in Hungary instead of East Germany, making the circumstances sound really harmless and very different … To her surprise she also discovered many years later that the police photos of the spot where Dirk had disappeared in March must have been made weeks later when the field was no longer covered with snow and the brook was no longer frozen … But the most interesting detail the mother did not find out until much later was the fact that in 1988 – shortly after the book Where Is Dirk, Mr Honecker? that treated the case of her missing son was published in West Germany and shortly before the Wall came down (something the East German authorities knew before the fact) – an eager East German administrative worker requested that Heidi’s son be erased from the East German registration books. That would have erased Dirk’s identity forever – as if he had never existed and therefore could never have disappeared without a trace, either. That attempt to strike Dirk’s identity from the official books is particularly surprising because even in the GDR such a procedure had never been attempted.
Except in Dirk’s case.
The only response to the desperate written plea for assistance the mother had sent to the top man of the regime, Mr Honecker himself, was a short note in the file that “her request was arrogant”. When she began to turn to the German Red Cross, Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations in the West for help, the East German authorities did not hesitate to take steps against the mother that simply refused to remain silent. So one day two sedans rolled up in front of the kindergarten where she and her older daughter were waiting for her youngest daughter. She saw her husband sitting in one of the cars; he had already been apprehended. Heidi Stein was asked to get into the second vehicle. She was told that they only wanted to talk to her – what, jail? No way …
The mother was put into pre-trial confinement without seeing her children again. The official charge against her was “the sending of messages that are not subject to secrecy“ and the fact that she had “contacted Western countries abroad”. A few months later she was sentenced to 4 ½ years of confinement in the notorious East German prison of Bautzen for those strange charges under the East German Penalty Code. More likely than not the true reasons for putting her away were the embarrasing questions and cries for help coming from a mother who was looking for her child and who noticed the many inconsistencies that occurred after her son had vanished.
After one and a half years of confinement the West German authorities were able to get her out in 1984 by paying ransom to their East German neighbor state for her, as was practiced with countless East German citizens. When she left East Germany for good, she was urged by the East Germans not to put in an application that would let her son Dirk leave the country. But why? Well, probably because if she had put in an application in the name of her missing son, the Federal Republic of Germany would have paid ransom to East Germany for a child who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances and without a trace. That would have raised some uncomfortable issues that the East German authorities obviously wanted to avoid. It was also suggested to her to leave the matter of Dirk’s disappearance alone in the West if she wanted to see her other two children again. So the mother left the matter alone – for two whole months until her daughters were released to West Germany as well.
Then she continued her search. But Dirk’s case file kept travelling from one West German authority to the next for all those years – a fact that is just as unusual and inexplicable as the rest of the circumstances.
A few more unusual coincidences are certainly the destinies of the public prosecutors in East Germany who requested Dirk’s case file and who are no longer alive today. A female prosecutor in her forties who handled the case suffered a sudden death. Another prosecutor passed away six weeks after requesting to see the same case file. And yet a third prosecutor died only a few weeks after ordering the case file of the missing child. A forth public attorney, who had done some serious investigating into the case before the Wall came down, changed his mind right after Germany’s reunification. Later he publically stated that the parents of the missing boy must have a mental problem because they are still looking for their child … And even though said prosecutor is still alive and working in his old profession (albeit now in West Germany), he preferred not to honor an invitation to a meeting of the Stasi victim organizations where Dirk’s case, the (presumably political) murder of an East German soccer player as well as other Stasi scandals were on the agenda.
But there was another mysterious death. That was the death of the co-worker of Dirk’s father. He had shown great empathy with Dirk’s parents after their son had vanished and had offered them his support and advice over the years. To Heidi’s surprise that co-worker and friend is listed in her Stasi victim file – he turned out to be a Stasi agent whose job it was to spy on the Schiller Family and keep them under surveillance after their son’s disappearance – in order to make a statement about them that would later put them in jail.
That friend of the family was found dead in his armchair after the border between East and West Germany was opened. The cause of death remains unknown.
Perhaps the only logical explanation for the disappearance of the small boy who never left any trace, whose body was never found and who, according to a West German investigative official, could definitely not have drowned – and especially the only logical explanation for the mysterious circumstances – are those two fontanels in Dirk’s skull. Children who are born with fontanels (soft spots on the skull that have the shape and size of a dollar coin) are extremely rare – and a baby that was reported by the pediatrician as having such a rare peculiarity of nature would have made an extremely interesting research object for the ambitious East German medical research facilities who were so eager to keep up with the latest Western medical findings.
Dirk’s mother is still trying everything in her power to find her missing son and to solve this mysterious case.
by kind permission of Ms. Heidi Stein.

Suchende Person: Stein, Heidi geb. Möbus

geb. am 04.11.1951 in Görlitz Deutschland