Germany: Man with a Suitcase

Blond, blue-eyed Bernd Schmidt was captured at the age of 18. That was three years ago, when he and some other West German teen-agers went to the Leipzig Sports Festival in Communist East Germany. One day, passing a stadium exit, Bernd Schmidt was caught in a throng of girls who came pouring from the field after a gymnastic display. Schmidt recalls: "Some were carrying their hoops high over their heads, others were rolling them. Suddenly, someone dropped a hoop over me. Everyone laughed."

Bernd Schmidt had been captured by Maria Hoelscher, an elfin girl with saucer-like brown eyes and a ponytail....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!