In 2009 an interview with Kessler showed that 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. Married men accounted for 20% of the deaths while only 8 (6%) were women. Rumours about the incident had to be prevented from circulating, with information passing to West Berlin or the FRG [West Germany]." Around two-thirds of the victims were killed in inner Berlin, accounting for 93 of the 140. Further obstacles of barbed wire and upstate walls delimitated the East and at some places, like Bernauer Straße, bricked-up buildings formed the boundary line. Identifying deaths specifically attributable to the Berlin Wall is not straightforward. 258 names of victims of the Wall are listed on granite slabs. As of 2006, 36 survivors were listed as deceased because of the Wall, and some victims were mentioned more than once. On top of that, some results are published infrequently or investigations were ceased with a provisional number. About 1,000 people were killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall and other heavily fortified stretches of Germany's east-west border between 1961 and the 1989 fall of the Wall. In Statista. The memorial harks back to a draft drawn up by the architects Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff. It was not until 3 April 1989 that an announcement made by SED General Secretary Erich Honecker led to GDR border guards being instructed to stop using “firearms” to “prevent border violations.”, Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery -. Owen Franken/Corbis/Getty Images. [35] The incident also led to anti-American protests, which were condemned by Willy Brandt. Learn how and when to remove this template message, Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic, "Die lebenden Toten vom Checkpoint Charlie". Hertle, Hans-Hermann. 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. Flying in a hot air balloon. After reviewing 575 deaths, the project team found that at least 140 people died in shootings, were killed in accidents or committed suicide after failing to cross the Wall.[13]. West Berlin policemen and US soldiers prevented a storming of the Berlin Wall. Another difference in Hertle's and Hildebrandt's list can be explained by the fact that Hertle had additional access to incomplete files from transport police. The non-partisan Kuratorium Unteilbares Deutschland (Committee for an Indivisible Germany) sold protest placards and lapel pins in all of West Germany against the border regime and its consequences. The Berlin Wall divided Berlin in half, split up family and friends and became a symbol of totalitarianism around the world. The ZZF criteria required the victim to have a background for the attempted escape or to have both a temporal and a spatial connection to the border regime. There are different numbers that each derive from different investigations that used different definitions of what a victim in this case should be. It remained for 28 years. While the Wall was standing, there was peace. - … The records distinguish between individuals who died at the outer border of West-Berlin (80 incidents), unclear incidents (with 5 possible wall victims) and border guards who were shot. Initially, West Berlin's regulatory authorities gave fugitives covering fire if they were being fired at by GDR border guards. Committed suicide after a failed attempt to flee the hijacking of an Interflug aircraft from East to West Berlin with his wife. 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. Geschichte Unterschiedliche Ergebnisse: Wieviele Opfer gab es an der Mauer? 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". This lethal incident resulted not only in negative press reports but also led to an intervention by Helmut Kohl and Franz Josef Strauss. Many of … In cases of death, the Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin and Mayor issued statements of indignation concerning the deceased, the Wall and the situation in the GDR. [13], About half of those who lost their lives on the Wall were killed in the first five years after it was originally installed. The former's numbers are higher, as they include, according to ZZF's Hans-Hermann Hertle, victims with an unclear or unsure connection to the border regime. Between 1961 and 1989, the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. However, the records of Stasi, which were administered by the Stasi federal commissioner, are not completely accessible. 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. However, researchers at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and some others had estimated the death toll to be significantly higher.[3]. Therefore, their accounts vary in regard to the people that died of natural causes during border controls. Upon entering the border area on the outer ring between Bergfelde (circle Oranienburg) and Reinickendorf discovered on 7 January and shot back to GDR after the persecution and seriously injured; suffered from a spreading internal infection with fever bouts and disturbances of consciousness in the hospital; died on 30 January, finally, of a pneumonia diagnosed on the morning of the day; Intentional escape likely, but contested in interrogations at the hospital. Most of those who died (comprising 78% of the fugitive victims) were young men aged between 16 and 30. [16] It was heavily secured with elaborate measures, including thousands of ferocious animals called “Wall dogs,” to stop any escape. There has been commemoration of the victims both before and after the German reunification. They include monuments, crucifixes and memorial stones, and were visited by foreign politicians during state visits. Shot between Kleinmachnow and Königs Wusterhausen; the co-refugee was even arrested. In total, at least 140 people were killed at the wall before it crumbled in 1989. 101 of the fatalities were attempted border-crossers, of which all but three were East Germans (the exceptions were Franciszek Piesik and Czesław Kukuczka, Polish citizens, and Vladimir Ivanovich Odinzov, a Soviet soldier). 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. [28] [29] In similar fashion, Günter Litfin was falsely depicted as being a homosexual, a prostitute as well as a criminal. [186] Besides these, there are also many commemoration services and protests against the Berlin Wall at other locations in Germany and abroad on 13 August. In the case of Peter Fechter, local US soldiers stated that they were not allowed to cross the border and enter East Berlin, although this was permitted to Allied military personnel when uniforms are worn. At the time, no reliable or official information was available about the number of fatalities at the Wall. In those cases they did not manage to conceal, however, the GDR's media was subject to stringent controls by the Stasi as well as the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, using Neues Deutschland, the GDR's second largest daily newspaper, as their zentralorgan. For more information, see Impressum. Taking these deaths at its point of departure, this book reconstructs twelve individual tragedies that occurred at the Wall between 1961 and 1989. It reminds people of the victims of the Berlin Wall and the inner German border with 1067 crosses. During the night of 12 to 13 August 1961 the National People's Army, the German Border Police, the Volkspolizei and the Combat Groups of the Working Class locked down all passages between the Soviet sector and the three West sectors; construction of border protection facilities began. 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. They detailed the event surrounding each death, stating where possible the role of the person. 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 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. Outside of Berlin, East Germany had been fortified in 1952. After Günter Litfins' death, the "B.Z. Some parts, especially from the later years, were destroyed when the ministry was disbanded, some are not yet sifted. "[32] In other cases, the press published stories using drastic language to accuse the Wall as well as the people in charge. West German, who was arrested for unknown reasons - possibly under the influence of alcohol - from the West German side in the barrier at the sector border in Berlin-Friedrichshain near the Schilling Bridge and shot there, Suicide during failed escape attempt when he was put by border guards, Called to the NVA and last serving in a border company, Ehrlich penetrated into the sector border area near the Leipziger Straße / Staerkstrasse at the outer ring in Glienicke / Nordbahn (circle Oranienburg) without alcohol and loud (inter alia loud whistling); was then asked, then faked a weapon and the border troops have called for shooting, whereupon a soldier shot him and u. a. met a leg main artery; First aid was not provided, Ehrlich bled to hospital after being admitted; Flight intent unclear, For reasons unknown, the border dries from West Berlin to East Berlin; was shot on the sector border between Neukölln and Treptow, Kiefholzstraße / Höhe Puderstraße, and died on the way to the East Berlin hospital, Approached - involved in a conversation and under the influence of alcohol - accidentally a frontier plant on the outer ring in Falkensee, district Falkenhöh, near Pestalozzistraße, and was shot at removing the plant; his passenger was injured but not charged with illegal border crossing; Incident in the GDR as a (hushed) accident scored, Drowned between 14 and 17 November 1970 in the Spree, Shot while trying to escape at the sector border in Treptow, in the area Köllnische Heide / Dammweg. [25] Only the guard who shot Walter Kittel was charged for manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. [36] In the ensuing time, loudspeaker cars were sporadically set up at the Berlin Wall, urging the GDR border guards not to shoot at refugees and warning them of possible consequences. Baron, Udo. The Victims at the Berlin Wall, 1961–1989: Findings of a Research Project by the Centre for Research on Contemporary History Potsdam and the Berlin Wall Memorial Site and Documentation Centre, "48. August 1961 to 9. [32] The western press also adopted this misstatement and used the heading "trigger-happy Vopos (colloquial German term for "Volkspolizei", the East German People's Police) killed own post. [8] The list is consistently revised with new cases being included and old ones abandoned. Constructing the Berlin Wall Forty-five years after the Berlin Wall was built, researchers still can’t say for sure how many people were killed trying to cross it. He was 19 years old. [26], The one exception to the general rule of concealment and obfuscation was that of border guards who died on duty. ... About 1,000 people were killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall and other heavily fortified stretches of Germany's … Probation In Berlin Wall Deaths. [188], Controversy about the number of casualties, Locations, demographics and motivations of the victims. She was living on the fourth floor of number 48 (third floor, 3te Stock, by German standards), threw bedding and some possessions down onto the street, and jumped out of the window of her apartment. The Stasi also took sole responsibility for the disposal of the dead and their possessions. Sites for fallen border guards were especially affected by this. There were numerous deaths at the Berlin Wall, which stood as a barrier between West Berlin and East Berlin from 13 August 1961 until 9 November 1989. Lives of at least five years FOLLOWED by TEAR DOWN these WALLS by RUNRIG,... 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