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Schoolchildren Visit Ex-Leaders’ Luxury Compound With AM-East Germany, Bjt

December 5, 1989

WANDLITZ, East Germany (AP) _ East Germany’s fallen Communist leaders were under house arrest Tuesday at an exclusive estate here, the focal point of an investigation into their alleged extravagant lifestyle at public expense.

But the gates of the walled, park-like Wandlitz compound were still open. Delegations of schoolchildren on field trips visited to see how their former leaders lived.

The fenced-in perimeter of the vast, mostly wooded area 25 miles north of East Berlin was calm and virtually deserted Tuesday evening, with few cars traveling the snow-dusted roads around the compound.

The accused leaders were forbidden to leave the compound, but a soldier on patrol said no extra security had been ordered to seal off exits.

Earlier, the official news agency ADN said ailing former leader Erich Honecker and unspecified other disgraced top officials would not be allowed to leave Wandlitz, which has become a symbol for official abuse of power.

ADN did not say how many former Communist leaders were under arrest at the estate’s 23 houses. Officials at Wandlitz said they also did not know how many were there or whether special security was in force at the houses.

A reporter’s request to enter the estate was politely refused.

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