UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

April 13, 2008

Kopierstube in Dresden

Filed under UCG-Germany

Today I was visiting our members Rainer and Margit in Dresden. They have had a photocopy shop for over 25 years, dating back to German Democratic Republic (East Germany) days.

In East German days, Rainer used to work at the university in Dresden (he has a doctorate). He was also a reserve officer sign for Kopierstube in the East German army. That all changed when he and his wife Margit found the truth and changed their lives to become Christians. With his job on the line and it being a matter of time before disciplinary action might mean the loss of their income, the Worldwide Church of God helped them to open a copy shop in Dresden. A private copy shop – even owning a copy machine – was quite a novelty then, so Rainer and Margit had no problem finding customers. Students were only too happy to find a place where they could have their dissertations photocopied. Rainer and Margit only had to "open" for business one day a week to take on new jobs and dispense the photocopying jobs they had completed the previous week.

Rainer got pretty good at maintaining the copy machines they had (one machine at a time), so the salespeople were amazed to learn sign for Kopierstube that they had made thousands more photocopies than the machine’s life rating. However, nothing lasts forever, and in 1984 I was asked to take some money to East Berlin and give it to Rainer and Margit for a new copier. However, at the crossing point between West and East Berlin in the American sector "Checkpoint Charlie" – I got into trouble for not having declared the money on my currency declaration. (I was searched down to my underwear – and it was winter and the heating in the search room was not that great!) After several hours of questioning (including some personal questions about my financial status – apparently asked for recruiting purposes, as I found out later) I was released, but the rental car I was using had to stay at the East Berlin side of the checkpoint until I brought back 2000 DM as a fine for having violated the currency declaration. The dollars were confiscated as well. All this time Rainer and Margit were waiting in an East Berlin hotel where we had agreed to meet. I had no way of contacting them, so they drove back to Dresden. Later we were able to get the money to them and they were able to purchase the new copier.

Today Margit runs the business and Rainer has embarked on a new venture of selling log cabin homes.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: