List of deaths at the Berlin Wall

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One of many memorials to those who died at the Berlin Wall

There were numerous deaths at the Berlin Wall, which stood as a barrier between West Berlin and East Germany from 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989. Before the rise of the Berlin Wall in 1961, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the Wall prevented almost all such emigration.[1]

The state-funded Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam has given the official figure of 136 deaths, including people attempting to escape, border guards, and innocent parties. However, researchers at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and some others had estimated the death toll to be significantly higher.

The escape attempts claimed the lives of a wide variety of people, from a child as young as one to an 80-year-old woman, and many died because of the accidental or illegal actions of the guards. In numerous legal cases throughout the 1990s, several border guards, along with political officials responsible for the defence policies, were found guilty of manslaughter and served probation or were jailed for their role in the Berlin Wall deaths.

Wreath laying at the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall in 1986.
Wreaths at the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall in 1986.

Identifying the death toll[edit]

Monument to the Berlin Wall with part of the concrete wall in the background
A section of the Berlin Wall in 1986

Identifying deaths specifically attributable to the Berlin Wall is not straightforward. Although East Germans were aware of deaths on the Wall from West German media broadcasts which they were able to receive, reliable information was closely held by the East German authorities. A number of different West German institutions kept their own records. These included the West Berlin police, the Central Registry of State Judicial Administration in Salzgitter (which tracked all border fatalities) and the Arbeitsgruppe 13 August (Working Group 13 August), a West Berlin association. After the fall of the Wall, criminal investigations into border killings were launched by the Investigating Agency for Governmental and Party Crimes (ZERV) and the Berlin public prosecutor's office.[2] Each of these institutions used different criteria to count deaths. For instance, the Salzgitter registry recorded incidents in which "suspicion of a criminal act was justified", while the Arbeitsgruppe 13 August counted "all victims who died in connection with flight and/or the border regime", including deaths by accidents or drowning, or deaths of border soldiers and policemen in suicides or firearms accidents. This gave them the figure of 235 deaths compared to the significantly lower number of 78 according to the Salzgitter registry.[3] The Checkpoint Charlie Museum gives the number at 245 deaths, though this includes suicides by border guards and bodies found in the water even when there was no obvious link to them being an escapee. They also state that the first person to die at the Wall was in fact an East German officer who committed suicide.[4]

In 2005, the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Centre for Contemporary History and the Berlin Wall Memorial Site and Documentation Centre) established a research project to definitively "establish the number and identities of the individuals who died at the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1989 and to document their lives and deaths through historical and biographical research". At the time, no reliable or official information was available about the number of fatalities at the Wall. The project found that 136 people had died,[5][6] using the criteria of "either an attempted escape or a temporal and spatial link between the death and the border regime". Not all had died immediately – one fatality occurred years later – and not all were caused by acts of violence. After reviewing 575 deaths, the project team found that at least 136 people died in shootings, were killed in accidents or committed suicide after failing to cross the Wall.[7] These 136 victims fell into five categories:

  • Fugitives shot and killed or fatally injured by East German security forces while trying to cross the Wall;
  • Fugitives who died while attempting to cross the Wall, or who committed suicide when their attempt failed, or who suffered fatal injuries in the course of their attempt;
  • People from East and West who were shot and killed or fatally injured by East German security forces;
  • People from East and West who died or were fatally injured as a result of the actions or inaction of the East German security forces;
  • Members of the East German border troops who were killed or suffered fatal injuries while on duty.[8]

Another 16 cases of drowning could not definitively be connected to the Wall. Many other travellers from East and West Germany and Czechoslovakia died immediately before, during or after passing through checkpoints in Berlin, with a published figure of 251 deaths: most were the result of cardiac arrest.[7]

First and last deaths[edit]

When Berlin was a divided city, the Berlin Wall ran along Bernauer Straße. The street itself belonged to the French sector of West Berlin and the East German authorities declared that the windows and doors that led out onto Bernauer Straße should be bricked up. In the early morning of 22 August 1961, Ida Siekmann was the first of 98 people to die while attempting to escape. She was living on the third floor of number 48, threw bedding and some possessions down onto the street and jumped out of the window of her apartment.[9][10][11] She fell on the sidewalk and was severely injured, dying shortly afterwards on her way to the Lazarus Hospital.[9][12] On 8 March 1989, Winfried Freudenberg became the last person to die in an attempt to escape from East Germany to West Berlin across the Berlin Wall by falling from his balloon.[13][14]

Causes and periods of deaths[edit]

East German border guards retrieving the body of Günter Litfin from the River Spree

The Berlin Wall, like the much longer inner German border between East and West Germany, was designed with two purposes in mind: to obstruct would-be border-crossers and to enable border guards to detect and stop illegal border crossings. In its final form, the 156 km (97 mi) wall consisted of inner and outer concrete walls separated by a "death strip"[7] some 15 m (49 ft) to 150 m (490 ft) wide. It was guarded by around 11,500 Grenztruppen, the Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic who were authorised to use any means necessary, including firearms, to prevent border breaches. The shooting orders, or Schießbefehl, issued to the border guards instructed that people attempting to cross the Wall were criminals, and that the use of deadly force was required to deal with them: "Do not hesitate to use your firearm, not even when the border is breached in the company of women and children, which is a tactic the traitors have often used".[15] Some guards have since claimed that the motto at the time was "a dead refugee is better than an escaped one".[16]

The principal cause of death was shooting. Of the 136 fatalities, 97 (71.3%) were shot dead, not only escapees but also individuals on either side who were not attempting to escape, and East German border guards killed on duty. Ninety-eight of the fatalities were attempted border-crossers, of which all but one were East Germans (the exception was Franciszek Piesik, a Polish citizen). Sixty-seven of them were killed in shootings. Another 30 people died as a result of shootings or fatal accidents sustained while in the vicinity of the Wall but not trying to cross it. Eight East German border soldiers were killed on duty by escapees, escape helpers, fellow soldiers, or the West Berlin police. Three people committed suicide after escape attempts failed.[7]

About half of those who lost their lives on the Wall were killed in the first five years after it was originally installed. Death rates fell from then on, and took a particularly dramatic downturn after 1976. Nearly 87% of the Wall's victims, 118 people, died between 1961 and 1975; between 1976 and 1989 only 18 died. Several factors account for this reduction. The Wall became even more impregnable owing to technical improvements carried out in the mid-1970s and more restrictions were put on the area adjoining the Wall, making it more difficult to reach in the first place. The signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975 led to new opportunities to cross the border legally, resulting in a rise in emigration applications and a corresponding fall in escape attempts.[7]

Deaths by year[edit]

1960s
Year   Number of deaths
1960
0
1961
13
1962
22
1963
10
1964
10
1965
12
1966
12
1967
2
1968
7
1969
3
1970s
Year   Number of deaths
1970
8
1971
4
1972
4
1973
5
1974
3
1975
4
1976
0
1977
2
1978
0
1979
0
1980s
Year   Number of deaths
1980
2
1981
3
1982
1
1983
1
1984
1
1985
0
1986
4
1987
1
1988
0
1989
3

Locations, demographics and motivations of the victims[edit]

Map showing the location of the Berlin Wall and the legal crossing points in use from 1963

Around two-thirds of the victims were killed in inner Berlin, accounting for 90 of the 136. Berlin-Mitte and Treptow were the inner-city districts with the most fatalities; nearly half of the 64 escapees who died on the sector border lost their lives in those two districts. The remaining third died on the city's outskirts where the suburbs of West Berlin intersected with towns and villages in East Germany.[7] Several victims, including most of the children, drowned in the Spree or the Havel.

Most of those who died (comprising 78% of the fugitive victims) were young men aged between 16 and 30. Married men accounted for 20% of the deaths while only 8% were women. Nine children younger than 16 years old died, whereas 67 victims were aged between 21 and 30.[17] The overwhelming majority came from East Berlin and the surrounding area.[7]

Their motives for escaping evolved over time. Those who fled in the years shortly after the Wall was built had experienced the formerly open border first-hand and often had relatives in the West or had travelled there. By contrast, later escapees had grown up with the closed border, desired greater freedom and were dissatisfied with conditions in East Germany. Their attempts to escape were often triggered by specific events such as a wish to avoid conscription, repression by the authorities or the refusal of a request to emigrate. Many escapees had previously clashed with the state authorities and had been imprisoned for political offences, often related to earlier unsuccessful escape attempts.[7]

Deaths by population demographic[edit]

Age
Range Number of deaths
80+
1
70–79
0
60–69
3
50–59
2
40–49
7
30–39
15
20–29
76
10–19
25
0–9
6
Unknown
1
Sex
  Number of deaths
Male
128
Female   
8

East German responses to deaths[edit]

East German memorial to border guards killed at the Berlin Wall, August 1986. It was demolished following the fall of the Wall.

The use of lethal force on the Berlin Wall was an integral part of the East German state's policy towards its border system. Nonetheless, the East German government was well aware that border killings had undesirable consequences. The West German, US, British and French authorities protested killings when they occurred and the international reputation of East Germany was damaged as a result. It also undermined the East German government's support at home.[18]

The Stasi, East Germany's secret police, adopted a policy of concealing killings as much as possible. In the case of the November 1986 shooting of Michael Bittner at the Wall, a Stasi report commented: "The political sensitivity of the state border to Berlin (West) made it necessary to conceal the incident. Rumours about the incident had to be prevented from circulating, with information passing to West Berlin or the FRG [West Germany]." The Stasi took charge of "corpse cases" and those injured while trying to cross the border, who were transported to hospitals run by the Stasi or the police where they would recuperate before being transferred to Stasi prisons. The Stasi also took sole responsibility for the disposal of the dead and their possessions. Bodies were not returned to relatives but were cremated, usually at the crematorium at Baumschulenweg. Occasionally the cost of the cremations was covered by the victims themselves using money taken from their pockets.[18]

Stasi officers posing as policemen would inform the relatives, though not before trying to obtain "valuable pieces of information on the border violation". Deaths would be stated as being due to "a border provocation of his own causing", "a fatal accident of his own causing" or "drowning in a border waterway". Every border death was investigated in detail to identify how the attempt had been made, whether there were any vulnerabilities in the border system that needed to be remedied and whether anyone else had been involved. If necessary, the family, relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours were put under surveillance. The reports produced following such cases were sent to the relevant member of the East German Politburo for consideration.[18]

The one exception to the general rule of concealment and obfuscation was that of border guards who died on duty. Most were killed either deliberately or accidentally by escapees or escape helpers. The dead guards were hailed by East German government propaganda as heroes, but West German public opinion was divided about the morality of killing border guards. Some took the view that escapees were entitled to use force in the course of crossing the border, but (as in one case tried in a West Berlin court) others saw the guard's life as taking priority over an escapee's freedom.[7]

Legal cases[edit]

Many of those involved in the killings at the Berlin Wall were investigated in a number of legal proceedings. Trials investigated border guards and senior political officials for their responsibility for the killings, some of which were believed to be unlawful.

Members of the National Defence Council, the political group responsible for the policies regarding the Berlin Wall, and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) were brought to court in the 1990s. In 1997 Egon Krenz, who had in 1989 become the last Communist leader of East Germany, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for the manslaughter of four Germans who were shot while attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. Other men to be given jail sentences include the Defence Minister at the time, Heinz Kessler, his deputy Fritz Streletz, Günter Schabowski and Günther Kleiber.[19]

In 2009 an interview with Kessler showed that, although he was sad about the deaths, he believed the Wall should never have been removed:

I deplore the fact that East Germans were shot while trying to flee westward, but the Berlin Wall served a useful purpose. It contributed to a polarisation between the two blocs, but it also gave a certain stability to their relationship. While the Wall was standing, there was peace. Today there's hardly a place that isn't in flames. Were you ever in East Germany? It was a wonderful country![20]

Two other key members of the National Defence Council, chairman Erich Honecker and Stasi leader Erich Mielke, were also investigated. However, during the trial both men were seriously ill and the court controversially decided to drop the cases.[19] Honecker died in 1994 and Mielke, who had served some time in jail for the 1931 murder of two police captains, died in 2000.

Many guards were themselves investigated for their actions, with the final case closing on 12 February 2004. In some of the cases there was insufficient evidence to identify which guard had fired the fatal shot and thus no prosecution could be made. Others were sentenced to probation for their role in the shootings.[16] Only the guard who shot Walter Kittel was charged for manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Numerous guards were the same ones who had been awarded a Medal for Exemplary Border Service or another award for the killing.[21][22][23][24]

Deaths[edit]

Image of memorial to Ida Siekmann
Memorial to Ida Siekmann
Image of memorial to Günter Litfin
Memorial to Günter Litfin
Image of memorial to Olga Segler
Memorial to Olga Segler
Image of memorial to Bernd Lünser
Memorial to Bernd Lünser
Image of memorial to Dieter Wohlfahrt
Memorial to Dieter Wohlfahrt
Image of newspaper story about Peter Göring
Newspaper story about Peter Göring
Image of Peter Fechter
Peter Fechter
Image of Egon Schultz
Egon Schultz
Image of memorial to Heinz Sokolowski
Memorial to Heinz Sokolowski
Image of memorial to Willi Marzahn
Memorial to Willi Marzahn
Image of memorial to Karl-Heinz Kube
Memorial to Karl-Heinz Kube
Image of Rolf Henniger
Rolf Henniger
Image of memorial to Buckhard Niering
Memorial to Buckhard Niering
Image of Dietmar Schwietzer
Dietmar Schwietzer
Image of memorial to Chris Gueffroy
Memorial to Chris Gueffroy

The Centre for Contemporary History and the Berlin Wall Memorial Site and Documentation Centre identified 136 people who died at the Berlin Wall. They detailed the event surrounding each death, stating where possible the role of the person. This is listed here as:

  • Escapee – a person who had clear signs of attempting to escape
  • No intention – a person who showed no obvious intent to cross the border
  • Guard – a border guard on duty
  • Suicide – a person who approached the guards with the intention of being killed

Note: Some deaths occurred days or even years after the event at the Berlin Wall, with all the victims later dying in hospital.

No. Name Date of birth Date of death Age Role Event details
1 Siekmann, IdaIda Siekmann
[9][10][11][12]
23 August 1902 22 August 1961 58 Escapee Jumped out the window of her apartment
2 Litfin, GünterGünter Litfin
[25]
19 January 1937 24 August 1961 24 Escapee Shot in Humboldt Harbour
3 Hoff, RolandRoland Hoff
[26]
19 March 1934 29 August 1961 27 Escapee Shot in the Teltow Canal
4 Urban, RudolfRudolf Urban
[27]
6 June 1914 17 September 1961 47 Escapee Fell while climbing out the window of his apartment and died of pneumonia in hospitala
5 Segler, OlgaOlga Segler
[28]
31 July 1881 26 September 1961 80 Escapee Jumped from her home at 34 Bernauer Straße and died a day later from internal injuries
6 Lünser, BerndBernd Lünser
[29]
11 March 1939 4 October 1961 22 Escapee Fell from the roof at 44 Bernauer Straße while fighting with GDR border patrol
7 Düllick, UdoUdo Düllick
[30]
8 March 1936 5 October 1961 25 Escapee Drowned in the Spree
8 Probst, WernerWerner Probst
[31]
18 June 1936 14 October 1961 25 Escapee Shot in the Spree
9 Lehmann, LotharLothar Lehmann
[32]
28 January 1942 26 November 1961 19 Escapee Drowned in the Havel
10 Wohlfahrt, DieterDieter Wohlfahrt
[33]
27 May 1941 9 December 1961 20 Escapee Shot while helping others to escape
11 Krüger, IngoIngo Krüger
[34]
31 January 1940 10 December 1961 21 Escapee Drowned in the Spree – defective diving equipment
12 Feldhahn, GeorgGeorg Feldhahn
[35]
12 August 1941 19 December 1961 20 No intention Drowned in the Spree after desertion; body found on 11 March 1962
13 Schmiel, DoritDorit Schmiel
[36]
25 April 1941 19 February 1962 20 Escapee Shot
14 Jercha, HeinzHeinz Jercha
[37]
1 July 1937 27 March 1962 24 Escapee Shot
15 Held, PhilippPhilipp Held
[38]
2 May 1942 April 1962 19 Escapee Drowned in the Spree on or after 8 April; body found on 22 April
16 Brueske, KlausKlaus Brueske
[39]
14 September 1938 18 April 1962 23 Escapee Suffocatedb
17 Böhme, PeterPeter Böhme
[40]
17 August 1942 18 April 1962 19 Escapee Shot in a fire-fight
18 Schmidtchen, JörgenJörgen Schmidtchen
[41]
28 June 1941 18 April 1962 20 Guard Shot by escapee Peter Böhme
19 Frank, HorstHorst Frank
[42]
7 May 1942 29 April 1962 19 Escapee Shot
20 Göring, PeterPeter Göring
[7][43]
28 December 1940 23 May 1962 21 Guard Shot; stray bullet from West Berlin police
21 Haberlandt, LutzLutz Haberlandt
[44]
29 April 1938 27 May 1962 24 Escapee Shot
22 Hannemann, AxelAxel Hannemann
[45]
27 April 1945 5 June 1962 17 Escapee Shot in the Spree
23 Kelm, ErnaErna Kelm
[46]
21 July 1908 11 June 1962 53 Escapee Drowned in the Havel
24 Glöde, WolfgangWolfgang Glöde
[47]
1 February 1949 11 June 1962 13 No intention Shot accidentally by a guard showing him his AK-47
25 Huhn, ReinholdReinhold Huhn
[48]
8 March 1942 18 June 1962 20 Guard Shot by escapees
26 Noffke, SiegfriedSiegfried Noffke
[49]
9 December 1939 28 June 1962 22 Escapee Shot
27 Fechter, PeterPeter Fechter
[50]
14 January 1944 17 August 1962 18 Escapee Shot
28 Wesa, Hans-DieterHans-Dieter Wesa
[51]
10 January 1943 23 August 1962 19 Escapee Shot
29 Mundt, ErnstErnst Mundt
[52]
2 December 1921 4 September 1962 40 Escapee Shot
30 Seling, GünterGünter Seling
[53]
28 April 1940 30 September 1962 22 Guard Shot by accident
31 Walzer, AntonAnton Walzer
[54]
27 April 1902 8 October 1962 60 Escapee Shot in the Spree
32 Plischke, HorstHorst Plischke
[55]
12 July 1932 19 November 1962 30 Escapee Drowned in the Spree; body found on 10 March 1963
33 Reck, OtfriedOtfried Reck
[56]
14 December 1944 27 November 1962 17 Escapee Shot
34 Wiedenhöft, GünterGünter Wiedenhöft
[57]
14 February 1942 5 December 1962 20 Escapee Drowned
35 Räwel, HansHans Räwel
[58]
11 December 1942 1 January 1963 20 Escapee Shot in the Spree
36 Kutscher, HorstHorst Kutscher
[59]
5 July 1931 15 January 1963 31 Escapee Shot
37 Kreitlow, PeterPeter Kreitlow
[60]
15 January 1943 24 January 1963 20 Escapee Shot by Soviet troops
38 Muszynski, Wolf-OlafWolf-Olaf Muszynski
[61]
1 February 1947 February 1963/ March 1963 16 Escapee Drowned in the Spree
39 Mädler, PeterPeter Mädler
[24]
10 July 1943 26 April 1963 19 Escapee Shot in the Teltow Canal
40 Widera, SiegfriedSiegfried Widera
[62]
12 February 1941 8 September 1963 22 Guard Bludgeoned with a metal rod on 23 August 1963
41 Schröter, KlausKlaus Schröter
[63]
21 February 1940 4 November 1963 23 Escapee Drowned in the Spree after being shot
42 Schulz, DietmarDietmar Schulz
[64]
21 October 1939 25 November 1963 24 Escapee Hit by a train
43 Berger, DieterDieter Berger
[65]
27 October 1939 13 December 1963 24 No intention Shot while drunkenly climbing the fence
44 Schultz, PaulPaul Schultz
[66]
2 October 1945 25 December 1963 18 Escapee Shot
45 Hayn, WalterWalter Hayn
[67]
31 January 1939 27 February 1964 25 Escapee Shot
46 Philipp, AdolfAdolf Philipp
[68]
13 August 1943 5 May 1964 20 No intention Shot after threatening the border guards with a gun
47 Heike, WalterWalter Heike
[69]
20 September 1934 22 June 1964 29 Escapee Shot
48 Wolscht, NorbertNorbert Wolscht
[70]
27 October 1943 28 July 1964 20 Escapee Drowned in the Havel
49 Gneiser, RainerRainer Gneiser
[71]
10 November 1944 28 July 1964 19 Escapee Drowned in the Havel
50 Trabant, HildegardHildegard Trabant
[72]
12 June 1927 18 August 1964 37 Escapee Shot while fleeing away from the wall after a failed escape attempt
51 Mispelhorn, WernhardWernhard Mispelhorn
[73]
10 November 1945 20 August 1964 18 Escapee Shot on 18 August 1964
52 Schultz, EgonEgon Schultz
[74]
4 January 1943 5 October 1964 21 Guard Shot accidentally in a fire-fight
53 Wolf, Hans-JoachimHans-Joachim Wolf
[75]
8 August 1944 26 November 1964 20 Escapee Shot
54 Mehr, JoachimJoachim Mehr
[76]
3 April 1945 3 December 1964 19 Escapee Shot
55 Unidentified man
[77]
Unknown 19 January 1965 Unknown Escapee Drowned in the Spree
56 Buttkus, ChristianChristian Buttkus
[78]
21 February 1944 4 March 1965 21 Escapee Shot
57 Krzemien, UlrichUlrich Krzemien
[79]
13 September 1940 25 March 1965 24 Unclear Drowned in the Spree
58 Hauptmann, Hans-PeterHans-Peter Hauptmann
[80]
20 March 1939 3 May 1965 26 No intention Shot on 25 April 1965 during an argument with border guards
59 Döbler, HermannHermann Döbler
[81]
28 October 1922 15 June 1965 42 No intention Shot after unintentionally piloting his boat too close to the border along the Teltow Canal
60 Kratzel, KlausKlaus Kratzel
[82]
3 March 1940 8 August 1965 25 Escapee Hit by a train
61 Garten, KlausKlaus Garten
[83]
19 July 1941 18 August 1965 24 Escapee Shot
62 Kittel, WalterWalter Kittel
[84]
21 May 1942 18 October 1965 23 Escapee Shot after surrenderingc
63 Cyrus, HeinzHeinz Cyrus
[85]
5 June 1936 11 November 1965 29 Escapee Fell from the fourth floor of a building he fled to
64 Sokolowski, HeinzHeinz Sokolowski
[86]
17 December 1917 25 November 1965 47 Escapee Shot
65 Kühn, ErichErich Kühn
[87]
27 February 1903 3 December 1965 62 Escapee Peritonitis after being shot
66 Schöneberger, HeinzHeinz Schöneberger
[88]
7 June 1938 26 December 1965 27 Escapee Shot
67 Brandes, DieterDieter Brandes
[89]
23 October 1946 11 January 1966 19 Escapee Circulatory failure after being shot on 9 June 1965
68 Block, WilliWilli Block
[90]
5 June 1934 7 February 1966 31 Escapee Shot
69 Schleusener, LotharLothar Schleusener
[91]
14 January 1953 14 March 1966 13 Escapee Shot
70 Hartmann, JörgJörg Hartmann
[92]
27 October 1955 14 March 1966 10 Escapee Shot
71 Marzahn, WilliWilli Marzahn
[93]
3 June 1944 19 March 1966 21 Escapee Shot in a fire-fight
72 Schulz, EberhardEberhard Schulz
[94]
11 March 1946 30 March 1966 20 Escapee Shot
73 Kollender, MichaelMichael Kollenderd
[22]
19 February 1945 25 April 1966 21 Escapee Shot
74 Stretz, PaulPaul Stretz
[95]
28 February 1935 29 April 1966 31 No intention Shot while bathing in the Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal; he had been drinking earlier in the evening.
75 Wroblewski, EduardEduard Wroblewski
[96]
3 March 1933 26 July 1966 33 Escapee Shot
76 Schmidt, HeinzHeinz Schmidt
[23]
26 October 1919 29 August 1966 46 Escapee Shot in the Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal
77 Senk, AndreasAndreas Senk
[97]
1960 13 September 1966 6 No intention Drowned in the Spreee
78 Kube, Karl-HeinzKarl-Heinz Kube
[98]
10 April 1949 16 December 1966 17 Escapee Shot
79 Sahmland, MaxMax Sahmland
[99]
28 March 1929 27 January 1967 37 Escapee Shot; body discovered on 8 March 1967
80 Piesik, FranciszekFranciszek Piesik
[100]
23 November 1942 17 October 1967 24 Escapee Drowned
81 Weckeiser, ElkeElke Weckeiser
[101]
31 October 1945 18 February 1968 22 Escapee Shot
82 Weckeiser, DieterDieter Weckeiser
[101]
15 February 1943 19 February 1968 25 Escapee Shot on 18 February 1968
83 Mende, HerbertHerbert Mende
[102]
9 February 1939 10 March 1968 29 No intention Shot on 7 July 1962f
84 Lehmann, BerndBernd Lehmann
[103]
31 July 1949 28 May 1968 18 Escapee Drowned in the Spree
85 Krug, SiegfriedSiegfried Krug
[104]
22 July 1939 6 July 1968 28 No intention Shot when he tried to surrender
86 Körner, HorstHorst Körner
[105]
12 July 1947 15 November 1968 21 Escapee Shot
87 Henniger, RolfRolf Henniger
[106]
30 November 1941 15 November 1968 26 Guard Shot by escapee Horst Körner
88 Lange, JohannesJohannes Lange
[107]
17 December 1940 9 April 1969 28 Escapee Shot
89 Kluge, Klaus-JürgenKlaus-Jürgen Kluge
[108]
25 July 1948 13 September 1969 21 Escapee Shot
90 Lis, LeoLeo Lis
[109]
10 May 1924 20 September 1969 45 Escapee Shot
91 Wehage, EckhardEckhard Wehage
[110]
8 July 1948 10 March 1970 21 Escapee Suicideg
92 Wehage, ChristelChristel Wehage
[110]
15 December 1946 10 March 1970 23 Escapee Suicideg
93 Müller, HeinzHeinz Müller
[111]
16 May 1943 19 June 1970 27 No intention Shot after he fell into the water
94 Born, WilliWilli Born
[112]
19 July 1950 7 July 1970 19 Escapee Suicide; failed escape attempt
95 Ehrlich, FriedhelmFriedhelm Ehrlich
[113]
11 July 1950 2 August 1970 20 No intention Shot after simulating the shooting of a gun to a guard
96 Thiem, GeraldGerald Thiem
[114]
6 September 1928 7 August 1970 41 Unclear Shot
97 Kliem, HelmutHelmut Kliem
[115]
2 June 1939 13 November 1970 31 No intention Shot after mistakenly driving up to the border on a motorbike
98 Friese, Christian PeterChristian Peter Friese
[116]
5 August 1948 25 December 1970 22 Escapee Shot
99 Kabelitz, Rolf-DieterRolf-Dieter Kabelitz
[117]
23 June 1951 30 January 1971 19 Escapee Shot
100 Hoffmann, WolfgangWolfgang Hoffmann
[118]
1 September 1942 15 July 1971 28 No intention Jumped out of a police station window
101 Kühl, WernerWerner Kühl
[119]
10 January 1949 24 July 1971 22 Escapee Shot
102 Beilig, DieterDieter Beilig
[120]
5 September 1941 2 October 1971 30 No intention Shot; trying to escape through a window after being arrested
103 Kullack, HorstHorst Kullack
[121]
20 November 1948 21 January 1972 23 Escapee Shot on 1 January 1972
104 Weylandt, ManfredManfred Weylandt
[122]
12 July 1942 14 February 1972 29 Escapee Drowned in the Spree after being shot
105 Schulze, KlausKlaus Schulze
[123]
13 October 1952 7 March 1972 19 Escapee Shot
106 Katrancı, CengaverCengaver Katrancı
[124]
1964 30 October 1972 8 No intention Drowned in the Spreee
107 H., HolgerHolger H.
[125]
1971 22 January 1973 1 Escapee Suffocationh
108 Frommann, VolkerVolker Frommann
[126]
23 April 1944 5 March 1973 29 Escapee Jumped from a train on 1 March 1973
109 Einsiedel, HorstHorst Einsiedel
[127]
8 February 1940 15 March 1973 33 Escapee Shot
110 Gertzki, ManfredManfred Gertzki
[128]
17 May 1942 27 April 1973 30 Escapee Shot/drowned in the Spree
111 Kroboth, SiegfriedSiegfried Kroboth
[129]
1968 14 May 1973 5 No intention Drowned in the Spreee
112 Niering, BurkhardBurkhard Niering
[130]
1 September 1950 5 January 1974 23 Escapee Shot
113 Sprenger, JohannesJohannes Sprenger
[131]
3 December 1905 10 May 1974 68 Suicidei Shot
114 Savoca, GiuseppeGiuseppe Savoca
[132]
22 April 1968 15 June 1974 6 No intention Drowned in the Spreee
115 Halli, HerbertHerbert Halli
[133]
24 November 1953 3 April 1975 21 Escapee Shot
116 Mert, ÇetinÇetin Mert
[134]
11 May 1970 11 May 1975 5 No intention Drowned in the Spreee
117 Kiebler, HerbertHerbert Kiebler
[135]
24 March 1952 27 June 1975 23 Escapee Shot
118 Hennig, LotharLothar Hennig
[136]
30 June 1954 5 November 1975 21 No intention Shot near to the border while running home
119 Schwietzer, DietmarDietmar Schwietzer
[137]
21 February 1958 16 February 1977 18 Escapee Shot
120 Weise, HenriHenri Weise
[138]
13 July 1954 May 1977 22 Escapee Drowned in the Spree; body found on 27 July 1977
121 Steinhauer, UlrichUlrich Steinhauer
[139]
13 March 1956 4 November 1980 24 Guard Shot by a deserting colleague
122 Jirkowsky, MarienettaMarienetta Jirkowsky
[140]
25 August 1962 22 November 1980 18 Escapee Shot
123 Muschol, JohannesJohannes Muschol
[141]
31 May 1949 16 March 1981 31 Unclear Shot
124 Starrost, Hans-JürgenHans-Jürgen Starrost
[142]
24 June 1954 16 April 1981 26 Escapee Shot
125 Taubmann, ThomasThomas Taubmann
[143]
22 July 1955 12 December 1981 26 Escapee Jumped from a train
126 Freie, Lothar FritzLothar Fritz Freie
[144]
8 February 1955 6 June 1982 27 No intention Shot; found in a restricted area
127 Proksch, SilvioSilvio Proksch
[145]
3 March 1962 25 December 1983 21 Escapee Shot
128 Schmidt, MichaelMichael Schmidt
[146]
20 October 1964 1 December 1984 20 Escapee Shot
129 Liebeke, RainerRainer Liebeke
[147]
11 September 1951 3 September 1986 34 Escapee Drowned in the Sacrower See
130 Mäder, ManfredManfred Mäder
[148]
23 August 1948 21 November 1986 38 Escapee Shot alongside René Groß
131 Groß, RenéRené Groß
[149]
1 May 1964 21 November 1986 22 Escapee Shot alongside Manfred Mäder
132 Bittner, MichaelMichael Bittner
[150]
31 August 1961 24 November 1986 25 Escapee Shot
133 Schmidt, LutzLutz Schmidt
[151]
8 July 1962 12 February 1987 24 Escapee Shot
134 Diederichs, IngolfIngolf Diederichs
[152]
13 April 1964 13 January 1989 24 Escapee Jumped from a train
135 Gueffroy, ChrisChris Gueffroy
[14][153]
21 June 1968 5 February 1989 20 Escapee Shot
136 Freudenberg, WinfriedWinfried Freudenberg
[13][14]
29 August 1956 8 March 1989 32 Escapee Balloon crash

Footnotes[edit]

^a Rudolf Urban and his wife both tried to climb out from a window at their home of 1 Bernauer Straße on 19 August 1961 while trying to escape but fell to the ground and were injured. They both went to hospital with their injuries.
^b Tried to break through the border crossing in a truck filled with sand and gravel; he was shot several times and suffocated in the sand that entered the cab after the truck crashed.
^c Had surrendered when he was shot; the border guard responsible was found guilty of murder in 1992.
^d National People's Army soldier who had deserted
e ^1 ^2 ^3 ^4 ^5 In these five cases the guards were accused of obstructing the rescue of those who were drowning.
^f After an evening of dancing on 7 July 1962 Mende was escorted to a guard house for not having sufficient identification. Believing the matter over, he ran towards the bus home and was shot. He died nearly six years later.
g ^1 ^2 Married couple Eckhardt and Christel committed suicide after a failed plane hijacking.
^h Was hiding with his parents in the crates in the back of a truck crossing the border when he began to cry. His mother held his mouth and he died of suffocation.
^i Ruled as a suicide by a court in Berlin, Sprenger was shot as he approached a watchtower. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer and had told his wife that he would return in a coffin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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