The assumption that the communist dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) drove many people to suicide has persisted for decades, and it is still evident in academic and public discourse. Yet, high suicide rates in eastern Germany, which can be traced back to the nineteenth century, cannot be a result of a particular political system. Be it monarchy, democracy, fascism, or socialism, the frequency of suicide there did not change significantly. In fact, the share of politically motivated suicides in the GDR amounts to only 1–2 percent of the total. Political, economic, or sociocultural factors did not have a significant impact on suicide rates. An analysis of two subsets of GDR society that were more likely to be affected by repression—prisoners and army recruits—further corroborates this: there is no evidence of a higher suicide rate in either case. Complimentary to a quantitative approach “from above,” a qualitative analysis “from below” not only underlines the limited importance of repression, but also points to a regional pattern of behavior linked to cultural influences and to the role of religion—specifically, to Protestantism. Several factors nevertheless fostered the persistence of an overly politicized interpretation of suicide in the GDR: the bereaved in the East, the media in the West, and a few victims of suicide themselves blamed the regime and downplayed important individual and pathological aspects. Moreover, state and party officials in the GDR unintentionally reinforced the politicization of suicide by imposing a taboo on the subject, which only fueled the flames of speculation about its root causes.