Lilian Price’s New Book “Guillotine Education” Details the Abusive Practices of the East German State Security (Stasi) as Experienced by Border Guard Manfred Smolka.

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Recent release “Guillotine Education” from Page Publishing author Lilian Price is the English translation of the original work authored by Klaus Schmude in the early 1990’s. Himself a victim of state security persecution, Schmude learned of Smolka’s plight when he shared a cell with him for a brief period.

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Lilian Price, a former German resident and PhD in Germanic studies, has completed her new book “Guillotine Education”: the recounting of the harrowing tale of the young official disillusioned by the shocking realities of a rogue regime.

According to Price, “During (my) time of residency in Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, (I) observed the barbed wire and the guard towers that divided the two Germanys. (I) also took several trips behind the Iron Curtain, where (I) met several individuals who had been negatively impacted by the brutal regime. On one occasion, (I) was interrogated by East German border officials, when (I) accidentally took a wrong highway. Shortly after a twentieth-anniversary observance of the fall of the Berlin Wall, (I) was presented with a manuscript that inspired (me) to tell the world the true story of a case of intense political persecution. After its initial publication by a now defunct publisher, half of the work's initial copies disappeared from bookshelves. For the first time, (my) translation makes the manuscript accessible to an international readership.”
Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Lilian Price’s eloquent translation of “Guillotine Education” details the abusive practices of the former East German State Security (Stasi) as experienced by border guard Manfred Smolka. His temporary cellmate Klaus Schmude recounts the harrowing tale of the young official disillusioned by the shocking realities of a rogue regime.
Pacing his cell, Smolka is stunned by the death sentence he has just been handed. His attorney already knows that the decision by the kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion, yet he still encourages him to appeal the decision to the highest authorities in the land. Smolka then reflects on the circumstances of his illegal apprehension on West German soil, and his hellish months of detention marked by sleep deprivation and seemingly endless good cop/bad cop interrogations. The interplay between the present and the past continues as he recalls his upbringing and the ideological warfare employed by his East German trainers in preparing him for his career as a border guard.
It was when he began to question the validity of Stalinist ideology and its brutal practices that he developed a crisis of conscience. Smolka concluded that his only acceptable choice was to escape to the West, which he successfully managed to do. Upon crossing the border, he was detained and questioned by West German authorities. They, in turn, handed him over to the Americans, who considered him a particularly valuable source of information about East German border installations. His kindly Jewish American interrogator soon released him to enjoy his newly acquired freedom after making a brilliant connection between the brutalities of Hitler’s national socialism and Stalinist totalitarian socialism. These brutalities included the occasional beheading of political prisoners with the identical guillotine used by both regimes. After a year of blissful freedom in West Germany, Smolka decided to rescue his wife and daughter from the GDR. Little did he realize that this decision would lead to such fateful consequences.

Readers who wish to experience this historical work can purchase “Guillotine Education” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.

For additional information or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708.

About Page Publishing:

Page Publishing is a traditional New York based full-service publishing house that handles all of the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Page Publishing knows that authors need to be free to create - not bogged down with complicated business issues like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes and the like. Its roster of authors can leave behind these tedious, complex and time consuming issues, and focus on their passion: writing and creating. Learn more at

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Nichole Hoffman
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