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Ah Well
21-03-2011, 09:11 PM
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989. On either side of the Iron Curtain, states developed their own international economic and military alliances.

In a physical sense the Iron Curtain took shape in the form of border defences between the countries of western and eastern Europe. These were some of the most heavily militarised areas in the world, particularly the so-called "inner German border"—commonly known as die Grenze in German — between East and West Germany. The inner German border was marked in rural areas by double fences made of steel mesh (expanded metal) with sharp edges, while near urban areas a high concrete barrier similar to the Berlin Wall was built.

The barrier was always a short distance inside East German territory to avoid any intrusion into Western territory. The actual borderline was marked by posts and signs and was overlooked by numerous watchtowers set behind the barrier. The strip of land on the West German side of the barrier — between the actual borderline and the barrier — was readily accessible but only at considerable personal risk, because it was patrolled by both East and West German border guards.

Many of us on this Forum grew up during a time when the Iron Curtain and a divided Berlin were a harsh reality. And then the events in eastern Europe, particularly in 1989, unfolded, and which ultimately ended in the fall of the Iron Curtain.

I came across a website by one Brian Rose and the photos which he has taken on this topic are compelling viewing. In 1985 he began photographing the landscape of the Iron Curtain, the fences and the fortifications. He has also since then taken numerous photos of Berlin, before, during and after reunification.

His Website ... http://www.brianrose.com/lostborder.htm - the Book format would seem to be "The Lost Border - Landscape of the Iron Curtain"

He also produced a book of photos "Berlin - in from the cold" which can be viewed digitally here http://www.brianrose.com/infromthecold.htm

Indeed, there seems to be an EU sponsored "Iron Curtain trail" going through the motions http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/der_iron_curtain_trail/index.html

Included in this Iron Curtain trail is a "Green Belt", which was the former "death strip" between East and West Germany and which has "a unique biotope" due to its decades-long isolation during the Cold War. Today it is named the "Green Belt", now extending to 6,800 km in length, from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. Ironically it would seem to be under the protection of Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union and now President of Green Cross International (GCI).

http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/der_iron_curtain_trail/green_belt/index.html

Count Bobulescu
22-03-2011, 02:04 AM
Back in 85 or 86 I drove from Dublin to Berlin, and then Munich and back. Don’t remember where I crossed from West to East, but the two hour journey inside East, to West Berlin was kinda bizarre. A four lane divided highway with few entrances or exits. Densely planted pines on either side, so you could see zilch. Watch Towers every few miles. Speed control was achieved by having a “police officer” standing on the lane divide line every few miles and using his hands to flag traffic to slow down. These officers had one car pass within inches to their right and another within inches to their left both going in the same direction. Often wondered about fatality rates for those officers.

Crossed from West Berlin to East via Checkpoint Charlie. At the eastern end of the check was in a long line waiting to be processed. Up ahead, a twenty something Chinese guy was carrying a Panda Teddy Bear that was at least twice as big as he was. Security officer wanted to rip open the Teddy to check for drugs etc. The crowd began to chant in opposition. Security officer took Teddy outside and set him alight. Crowd shut up.

Holly
22-03-2011, 01:46 PM
I crossed at Helmstedt-Marienborn by train from Hanover in the middle of the night. The East German border police removed a West German mother and her daughter for some interrogation but left me alone. I do recall the soldiers with dogs patrolling the tracks. After about an hour's delay, we were well and truly in the GDR.

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j480/rogerduke1/helmstedt-marienborg.jpg

kozlov
23-03-2011, 10:03 AM
:mad:

Ah Well
24-03-2011, 12:46 AM
:mad:

C'mon ... you can do better than that .. please expand ...

kozlov
24-03-2011, 06:43 AM
Expand Westward Always forward never back, once a NVA slogan . GDR was a socialist country with all its faults ! Anyone who criticises it must be a .fascist! Nich Fascistmus!:mad:

C. Flower
24-03-2011, 04:48 PM
A metaphor maybe for the mental gap between two different Utopias.

I once watched thousands of rabbits peacefully nibbling the grass at dawn in the vast minefield in front of the Reichstag. This whole border strip was untouched by the hand or foot of humans and became an extraordinary wildlife corridor running through the city.

kozlov
25-03-2011, 04:35 AM
Were they spying for the CIA or KGB?;)

C. Flower
25-03-2011, 09:02 AM
Were they spying for the CIA or KGB?;)

Possible double agents. Or even non-aligned ?

Andrew_t
07-07-2011, 07:00 PM
GDR was a socialist country with all its faults!

And the need to lock its people in was?

The most cynical aspect of the Wall and the inner border was that one you were retired you could go, unless you knew too much, and let the West Germans feed your unproductive body. Well! it was better than how the previous German dictatorship dealt with "useless mouths". Victor Klemperer called it "the lesser evil" and good riddance to it.

Sam Lord
07-07-2011, 09:24 PM
This guy loved the wall.

Actually that is ... he apparently married it on June 17, 1979.

The attraction was founded, it seems, on parallel lines, a rectangular quality, and division.

http://www.algonet.se/~giljotin/explan.html

TotalMayhem
13-08-2011, 06:22 AM
The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Soviet-dominated Eastern Bloc officially claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. However, in practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

Sam Lord
13-08-2011, 11:06 AM
Isn't there already a Berlin Wall thread?

C. Flower
13-08-2011, 11:09 AM
Isn't there already a Berlin Wall thread?

There is, and it is interesting, so I will merge the two threads. The reason for starting one today is that it's the 50th anniversary of the closure of the border across Berlin.

TotalMayhem
13-08-2011, 11:16 AM
I posted it today as the 13th of August 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of this monument of communist shame. But feel free to hide it in a zombie thread. ;)

Sam Lord
13-08-2011, 11:36 AM
I posted it today as the 13th of August 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of this monument of communist shame.

There were communists in East Germany but their only interaction with the State was being repressed by it.




At the end of 1975 and beginning of 1976, the foundation by the KPD/ML of its own section in the GDR was made public. The corresponding declaration was published in Roter Morgen on February 7, 1976.

While the KPD/ML had already been formed in 1968 in the FRG, the nucleus of the GDR Section emerged within the GDR itself.

In the beginning of the 1970s, some students in the eleventh and twelfth grades at an Extended Secondary School (Erweiterte Oberschule; EOS) in Berlin got together to study the texts of the classical authors of Marxism-Leninism independently of the official version propagated by the Socialist Unity Party. They were not the only ones in the GDR doing this at that period.

Other interested people among their friends and families joined them, so that, in the course of time, a little circle of employees (in the education and technical fields) and students (of medicine, language and literature) was formed. In reading the basic texts of Marxist-Leninist social theory they came more and more to the conclusion that a deep gap existed between theory and practice in "actually existing socialism".

In Magdeburg, during 1969-70, pupils, students and apprentices got together to form the Progressive Youth (Progressive Jugend), inspired - among other things - by the Black Panthers. Besides the classical authors of Marxism-Leninism, various forbidden texts (of Mao, Stalin, the Black Panthers, etc.) were read and discussed by this youth group, whose activities were GDR-wide and which was composed of around 100 young people.

After the Progressive Youth had been disintegrated and destroyed, in 1976 the "hard core" of the Progressive Youth formed a KPD/ML cell.

In Rostock, too, an autonomous circle of students was formed with a similar political orientation. Being interested in further ideological inspiration, many of these groups and circles - by themselves - got in touch with various left organizations in West Berlin and with the Albanian embassy in East Berlin.

Besides the young people, who were the majority within the GDR Section, some older, battle-hardened comrades joined the Section. For instance, Heinz Reiche, who had spent 11 years in Nazi prisons and concentration camps, took part in activities in Weisswasser (a township south of Cottbus). Reiche had already come into conflict with the SED in the 1950s.

During the following years, the KPD/ML was successful in gaining supporters and organizing them into party cells in the GDR. These cells were inspired by the cell system of the illegal KPD during the Nazi dictatorship.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Party_of_Germany/Marxists%E2%80%93Leninists

TotalMayhem
13-08-2011, 12:02 PM
Goes to show you that even the Commies deemed the theories of Marx & Lenin as not applicable to a modern state. ;)

C. Flower
13-08-2011, 12:34 PM
I posted it today as the 13th of August 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of this monument of communist shame. But feel free to hide it in a zombie thread. ;)

Far from zombie, it is more likely to be read in this thread. But thanks, anyway. ;)

C. Flower
13-08-2011, 12:41 PM
Goes to show you that even the Commies deemed the theories of Marx & Lenin as not applicable to a modern state. ;)

Well they did,


Political revolution

HATRED OF these bureaucratic officials led workers building a police barracks next door to the Friedrichshaim site, and workers on the Stalinallee construction site, to follow their example. The next morning, building workers from Friedrichshaim and Stalinallee toured other sites in the city, calling out other workers.

Soon the protesters numbered 10,000. Their leaders carried a crudely painted banner saying: "Down with the 10% rise in the norms!" Factory workers, clerks, even minor officials on the lowest slopes of the bureaucracy, joined them, shouting in chorus: "We are workers and not slaves, end the extortionate norms. We want free elections, we are not slaves!"

People were shouting encouragement from windows of flats and offices. The demand: "To the government, to Leipziger Street," was raised.

The demonstration was taking on a political form. The Soviet Union’s dictator, Joseph Stalin, had died just three months before. His death was a signal for some of the suppressed anger at the bureaucratic regimes of Eastern Europe to surface.

Earlier that month troops had been sent in to disperse a demonstration in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Now, less than a week later a workers’ revolt was taking shape in East Berlin.

The secretary of the Communist Party (SED) in Berlin, Heinz Brandt, explained: "The building workers have thrown a spark into the mass. The spark has burst into flame. It was like Lenin’s dream come true, only this mass action was directed against a totalitarian regime ruling in Lenin’s name."

In reality, the regime was a nighmarish distortion of the ideas of Lenin.

The workers demanded to talk to the government leaders, Pieck and Grotewohl. One worker called for a general strike if the government didn’t show up in half an hour. They didn’t; the workers marched away and started to spread the strike.

Government loudspeaker cars were sent to appeal to the workers but the crowd seized them and marched along, broadcasting the call that all workers in Berlin should join a general strike the next day.

By 17 June the strike had spread to most of East Germany’s industrial cities, involving 300,000 workers. Factory meetings were held in Berlin, leading to detailed discussions on the crimes of the SED regime. They elected workers’ councils and called for demonstrations.

In Merseburg, 10,000 workers singing revolutionary songs, marched to the city centre where they met up with thousands more. They stormed the police station, ransacked SED party offices and broke into the jails to release prisoners.

In Halle 8,000 railworkers seized the SED HQ, the council offices and prisons. In Leipzig workers occupied the youth headquarters and destroyed all the portraits except those of Karl Marx. In Brandenburg the so-called ’people’s judges’ and public prosecutor were beaten up.

Counter-revolution

EAST GERMANY’S rulers had lost control but by then Russian tanks and troops - which had propelled the SED into power - were moving into Berlin. Martial law was proclaimed.

Despite the enormous heroism of the workers, the uprising was crushed. The SED made temporary economic concessions but these only lasted as long as the revolutionary crisis. Six of the uprising’s leaders were executed, four were given life sentences and 1,300 more brought to trial. An estimated 260 died from Russian bullets.

http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/809

Sam Lord
13-08-2011, 12:45 PM
Why are walls to keep people in generally deemed to be a terrible thing but walls to keep people out are generally considered to be OK? Both are restrictive of free movement after all.

Sam Lord
13-08-2011, 01:18 PM
Well they did,


What do you think these protests were a response to CF? It could be considered that they were rooted in discontent arising out of measures introduced on foot of the decision to "build socialism" in East Germany. As you know this decision was only made in 1952 and it resulted in measures that put pressure on the private sector and small business owners and on independent farmers. At the same time the development of heavy industry was given priority over the standard of living of the population. These measures caused a great deal of pain and resentment in many quarters.

TotalMayhem
13-08-2011, 01:26 PM
One worker called for a general strike if the government didn’t show up in half an hour.

What did show up, however, were Commie tanks (not SED but proper Russian Commie tanks) ... the 17th of June, 1954, yet another infamous day in history. East German tanks and troops were put to good use in Prague later when the Commies slaughtered the Czechs in 1968.

C. Flower
13-08-2011, 02:47 PM
What do you think these protests were a response to CF? It could be considered that they were rooted in discontent arising out of measures introduced on foot of the decision to "build socialism" in East Germany. As you know this decision was only made in 1952 and it resulted in measures that put pressure on the private sector and small business owners and on independent farmers. At the same time the development of heavy industry was given priority over the standard of living of the population. These measures caused a great deal of pain and resentment in many quarters.

I watched a documentary on these events a while back. I guess there were complex reasons, and I would like to know more about what happened.
People interviewed in the documentary pretty consistently said they wanted communism, but they wanted to develop it their own way..."socialism in our own country"

Now that could mean all kinds of things, both progressive or reactionary.

I know that the middle classes in West Germany used to say that it was just as well to have all those bolshie East German workers on the other side of a wall.

Holly
13-08-2011, 02:49 PM
http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j480/rogerduke1/anniversary.jpg
BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 13, 2011: (From L to R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, President Christian Wulff and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit observe a minute of slience before wreaths during a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on August 13, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The Berlin Wall, equipped with watch towers, armed guards and trip-wire triggered machine guns, was originally built in 1961 by the communist authorities of East Germany in order to stop East Germans from fleeing into West Berlin. At least 136 people died trying to do so until the Wall came down in 1989. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

TotalMayhem
13-08-2011, 03:29 PM
Some Commies have boycotted (http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,780058,00.html) the minute of silence in memory of those who died trying to flee to the West.

Holly
15-08-2011, 03:03 AM
This day in history: 15 August 1961
Hans Conrad Schumann was one of the most famous defectors from East Germany.
Born in Leutewitz, Saxony, Schumann served as a soldier in the East German Bereitschaftspolizei. After three months' training in Dresden, he was posted to a non-commissioned officers' college in Potsdam, after which he volunteered for service in Berlin.
On 15 August 1961 he found himself, aged 19, guarding the Berlin Wall, then in its third day of construction, at the corner of Ruppiner Straße and Bernauer Straße. At that stage of construction, the Berlin Wall was only a low barbed wire fence. As the people on the Western side shouted Komm rüber! ("come over"), Schumann jumped the barbed wire and was driven away at high speeds by a waiting West Berlin police car. Photographer Peter Leibing captured a photograph of his escape on film.

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j480/rogerduke1/ConradSchumann.jpg
East German border guard Conrad Schumann leaps into the French Sector of West Berlin over barbed wire on 15 August 1961

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 03:13 AM
Why is he famous? I doesn't look like much of a jump. Hardly likely to get him into the Olympic team or anything. The old dears in the background look decidedly unimpressed.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 03:22 AM
It is interesting that polls show that a majority of people still think life was better in East Germany.

Majority of Eastern Germans Feel Life Better under Communism

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,634122,00.html



Today, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 57 percent, or an absolute majority, of eastern Germans defend the former East Germany. "The GDR had more good sides than bad sides. There were some problems, but life was good there," say 49 percent of those polled. Eight percent of eastern Germans flatly oppose all criticism of their former home and agree with the statement: "The GDR had, for the most part, good sides. Life there was happier and better than in reunified Germany today."

These poll results, released last Friday in Berlin, reveal that glorification of the former East Germany has reached the center of society..



It looks like our barbed wire jumper was not that representative.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 03:26 AM
A bit more about the famous high jumper:



On 20 June 1998, suffering from depression, he committed suicide, hanging himself in his orchard near the town of Kipfenberg in Oberbayern.


I guess the great leap did not bring him happiness.

Holly
15-08-2011, 05:19 AM
Why is he famous? I doesn't look like much of a jump. Hardly likely to get him into the Olympic team or anything.

One short jump for a teenager in uniform ... one giant leap for an oppressed people whose communist government was so popular that it had to build a wall to keep the population from leaving.
The picture speaks a thousand words.

C. Flower
15-08-2011, 06:26 AM
One thread too many on the Berlin wall. I'm going to merge it with the other one.

C. Flower
15-08-2011, 06:37 AM
It is interesting that polls show that a majority of people still think life was better in East Germany.

Majority of Eastern Germans Feel Life Better under Communism

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,634122,00.html

It looks like our barbed wire jumper was not that representative.

The comments on the new re-unified Germany are at least as interesting as those on the GDR -



"From today's perspective, I believe that we were driven out of paradise when the Wall came down," one person writes, and a 38-year-old man "thanks God" that he was able to experience living in the GDR, noting that it wasn't until after German reunification that he witnessed people who feared for their existence, beggars and homeless people.

Today's Germany is described as a "slave state" and a "dictatorship of capital," and some letter writers reject Germany for being, in their opinion, too capitalist or dictatorial, and certainly not democratic. Schroeder finds such statements alarming. "I am afraid that a majority of eastern Germans do not identify with the current sociopolitical system."

TotalMayhem
15-08-2011, 07:46 AM
Majority of Eastern Germans Feel Life Better under Communism

Some wild interpretation, Sam


The GDR had more good sides than bad sides. There were some problems, but life was good there," say 49 percent of those polled.

Life being good doesn't mean better.


Eight percent of eastern Germans flatly oppose all criticism of their former home

Former guardians of the Commie tyranny... they'll die out, not to worry.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 11:45 AM
Some wild interpretation, Sam



Take it up with Spiegel. Their article. Their headline.

TotalMayhem
15-08-2011, 11:51 AM
Take it up with Spiegel. Their article. Their headline.

My bad, since you didn't include the headline in the quote, i thought the conclusion was your own.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 11:59 AM
Some wild interpretation, Sam


Another poll from 10 years earlier



A recent poll indicated that while most former East Germans welcomed the greater political freedom and supported reunification, more than 40 percent said they were happier under the communist regime. A majority said they were unhappy with the economic changes.


http://articles.cnn.com/1999-11-09/world/9911_09_wall.nostalgia_1_reunification-german-democratic-republic-gdr?_s=PM:WORLD

It can't have been that bad.




Former guardians of the Commie tyranny... they'll die out, not to worry.


Indeed, when everyone dies out there will be no one to say that life was better and the bourgeoisie will be entirely free to spin their propaganda.

TotalMayhem
15-08-2011, 12:20 PM
4 million people fled the "Workers Paradise" from 1949 to 1990. Another 2 millions fled its predecessor, the Soviet Occupation Zone prior to 1949... bloody bourgeois temptations.

Holly
15-08-2011, 01:46 PM
Conrad Schumann - YouTube

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 02:08 PM
4 million people fled the "Workers Paradise" from 1949 to 1990. Another 2 millions fled its predecessor, the Soviet Occupation Zone prior to 1949... bloody bourgeois temptations.

*shrug*

The population of the Ukraine has declined by about 5 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

So I guess if they were fleeing socialism in the DDR we would have to say that they are fleeing capitalism in the Ukraine. Would you agree?

Lots of people fleeing Ireland at the moment.:)

C. Flower
15-08-2011, 02:12 PM
The population of Russia peaked at 148,689,000 in 1991, just before the breakup of the Soviet Union. Low birth rates and abnormally high death rates caused Russia's population to decline at a 0.5% annual rate, or about 750,000 to 800,000 people per year from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s. The UN warned in 2005 that Russia's then population of about 143 million could fall by a third by 2050 if trends did not improve.[7][8] However, the Russian state statistics service Rosstat had more optimistic forecasts in 2009, whose Medium variant predicted that Russia's population would only fall to 139 million by 2030[9] (Low: 127 million; High: 147 million). Furthermore, in 2008 one demographic analyst (correctly) predicted a resumption in population growth by 2010.[10]

It seems to have stabilised, but only after a serious bleed out.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 02:18 PM
It seems to have stabilised, but only after a serious bleed out.

I don't get the relevance. :confused:

C. Flower
15-08-2011, 02:20 PM
I don't get the relevance. :confused:

By all means delete it if you feel it's off topic.

TotalMayhem
15-08-2011, 02:21 PM
The population of the Ukraine has declined by about 5 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

So I guess if they were fleeing socialism in the DDR we would have to say that they are fleeing capitalism in the Ukraine. Would you agree?

Lots of people fleeing Ireland at the moment.:)

Certainly not.

These people are not fleeing from some tyrannies (which usually deny their people the freedom of travel) and the destinations are rarely Commie regimes and their promise of a "Worker's Paradise".

(although, looking out the windows here makes even Cuba is VERY tempting)

bormotello
15-08-2011, 02:31 PM
The population of the Ukraine has declined by about 5 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 02:39 PM
Certainly not.



You are not being logically consistent then. We will have to add this to the list.

41. When people leave a "socialist" country in large numbers they are fleeing tyranny. When they leave a capitalist country in large numbers they are exercising their right to travel. :)

Holly
15-08-2011, 02:47 PM
Naturally armchair communists will defend the failed country of East Germany as it epitomized the autocratic police state so characteristic of manifestly oppressive Marxist governments wherever they got a grip on power.
It is comforting to see such honesty because it renders the need to oppose them that much easier. Oppression speaks for itself. It is more of a challenge, like punching at a will-o'-the-wisp, when the red apologists attempt to portray all communist governments, both past failures and current autocracies and somehow not true communism, but as flawed experiments, not fully reflective of the scientifically pure variety of Bolshevism.

Sam Lord
15-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Naturally armchair communists will defend the failed country of East Germany as it epitomized the autocratic police state so characteristic of manifestly oppressive Marxist governments wherever they got a grip on power.
It is comforting to see such honesty because it renders the need to oppose them that much easier. Oppression speaks for itself. It is more of a challenge, like punching at a will-o'-the-wisp, when the red apologists attempt to portray all communist governments, both past failures and current autocracies and somehow not true communism, but as flawed experiments, not fully reflective of the scientifically pure variety of Bolshevism.

Any chance of a translation into something coherent in the English language?

Richardbouvet
15-08-2011, 04:10 PM
I wonder if any of the German politicians who made speeches at the site of the wall the other day drew attention to the old wall's obvious resemblance to Israel's current apartheid barrier?

I'll bet they didnt touch that issue with a bargepole. Nuff said.

Holly
17-08-2011, 04:31 AM
This day in history: 17 August 1962
Peter Fechter was a German bricklayer from Berlin in what became East Germany in 1945. He was aged just 18, one of the first victims of the Berlin Wall's border guards while trying to cross over to what was then West Berlin.

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j480/rogerduke1/PeterFechter.jpg
Peter Fechter

One year after the construction of the wall, Fechter attempted to flee from the GDR (German Democratic Republic) together with his friend Helmut Kulbeik. The plan was to hide in a carpenter's workshop near the wall in Zimmerstraße and, after observing the border guards from there, to jump out of a window into the so-called death-strip (a strip running between the main wall and a parallel fence which they had recently started to construct), run across it, and climb over the two metre wall topped with barbed wire into the Kreuzberg district of West Berlin near Checkpoint Charlie.

When both reached the wall, guards fired at them. Although Kulbeik succeeded in crossing the wall, Fechter, still on the wall, was shot in the pelvis in plain view of hundreds of witnesses. He fell back into the death-strip on the Eastern side, where he remained in view of Western onlookers, including journalists. Despite his screams, he received no medical assistance from the communists. He bled to death after approximately one hour. As a result of his death, hundreds in West Berlin formed a spontaneous demonstration, shouting "Murderers!" at the border guards.

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j480/rogerduke1/Body_of_Peter_Fechter_lying_next_to_Berlin_Wall.jp g
Body of Peter Fechter lying next to the Berlin Wall

berlin der mauerbau 1961 - YouTube

Ah Well
09-01-2012, 12:24 AM
Checkpoint Charlie's social climb
Mind the tripwires, watch the mines
On the Alexanderplatz there's a party goin' on
Harry Palmer glasses are required

We're dancing on the Berlin Wall

Cold War Night Life - Neutron Hop
Where the action never stops
If you've got a secret you can sell it at the bar
And yes, we'd love to see your microfilm

We're dancing on the Berlin Wall

All you heroes - here's your chance
All you have to do is dance
On the Alexanderplatz there's a party goin' on
Harry Palmer glasses are required


Rational Youth - Dancing on the Berlin Wall (1982) - YouTube

Holly
09-01-2012, 12:49 AM
Rational Youth remind me of Kraft Werk in that track.

Here is a touching short documentary that mentions Peter Fechter and others who tried to escape from Communism and the families separated by the now fallen wall.

The Wall (1962) / Berlin Wall Documentary Film Video - YouTube

Dr. FIVE
09-01-2012, 02:08 AM
Myself and herself were getting the bus across the city to Potsdamer Platz (going to Legoland) a few years ago and whole bus was treated to quartet of Dubs harping on about Check Point Chaaarlie at every stop for a good 45 minutes. Great stuff.. Herself later had the honour of falling the 11ft over the other side into a bush after our hostel had given us the wrong key and she was elected to scale the rampart due to a gammy ankle I had picket up earlier. Nevertheless we were safe in the West before the sun came up :)

Ah Well
11-01-2012, 12:07 AM
Within 2 years during the 1980s Jürgen Ritter travelled the entire west-east German Border, from the Baltic Sea to the Czech Border, photographing border areas. Since then, he has photographed many of the same areas and the changes which have occurred.

Spiegel ran an interesting article on him in 2009 http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,658804,00.html

His website has a very impressive Border "Before and After" Slideshow and contains details of his book, etc

http://www.grenzbilder.de/die_grenze/die_grenze_slideshow.php

Holly
11-01-2012, 02:13 AM
Within 2 years during the 1980s Jürgen Ritter travelled the entire west-east German Border, from the Baltic Sea to the Czech Border, photographing border areas. Since then, he has photographed many of the same areas and the changes which have occurred.
I must check this out.