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“Anti-social” behaviour in the GDR -
Paragraph §249

1968 saw the adoption of the term asozial (“anti-social”) in the penal code of the GDR. Paragraph §249 included three clauses and underwent numerous amend­ments through 1989.

Ҥ 249. Endangering public order through anti-social behaviour.

(1) Any person who endangers the public order or coexistence of society by evading regular employment due to work-shyness despite being fit to work, or who engages in prostitution or supports themself via improper means, shall be punished with a probationary sentence or detention, corrective labour or a jail term of up to two years. Furthermore, they may be subjected to restrictions on residence and to state supervision and correction”.

Rummelsburg prison also included inmates who had been sentenced under the terms of § 249. As late as the 1980s the proportion of male prisoners exceeded 10%; that of female inmates at the branch prison for women in Grünau even exceeded 50%.

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