The Story of an East German Family by Maxim Leo.
The first Party assembly at the university is a dreadful spectacle. Two lecturers are told to stand at the the front by the board. A comrade rises to his feet and declares that the two of them aren't worthy members of the SED [Socialist Unity Party of Germany] because they have attacked the Party and the working class with their hostile speeches. Their reactionary, revisionist behaviour discredits the whole university.
A comrade whispers to Anne, telling her what's going on. The two lecturers clearly dared to express doubts about the correctness of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. They hadn't actually protested against the invasion, but just asked whether this action by Moscow was reconcilable with the peaceful partnership of the community of Socialist states.
Now one comrade after another gets to his feet and hurls criticism and contempt at the two men. They stand there, heads lowered, as if petrified, and don't dare say anything themselves. They look like rabbits acting dead so that the snake won't eat them straight away.
Later, Anne often returns to that scene. In her imagination the two men are wearing pointed hats and signs around their necks with self-denunciations written on them. Anne finds this assembly so frightening that she undertakes to be even more careful from now on. She understands that conditions at the university are very different from those in the newspaper office where she'd been working. On the newspaper, no one demanded that you believe in what you do. It just needed to work. Here in the university even the purity of thought is checked. Anyone who doesn't declare unconditional loyalty is isolated. Later she sometimes sees the two punished lecturers in the student canteen. They are always alone, no one dares to talk to them or even to join them. They still keep their heads lowered, they are penitents in perpetuity, a warning to others.
Maxim Leo, Red Love: The Story of an East German Family (London: Pushkin Press, 2014) pp. 41-42.

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