A 317

Border soldiers' pathway through the barbed wire

On New Year’s Eve 1965, Hartmut B. and Günter M, two border sol­diers posted at Gartenstraße, decided to flee. They ran around the S-­Bahn station entrance at Gartenstraße, cut through the barbed wire and wire mesh fences there, and jumped down into West Berlin. Both were conscripts. B. was known for criticizing orders and had been reprimanded for this. He had also repeatedly stated that he would not shoot at fugitives. M. also had conflicts with his superiors, which they resolved by having his com­ rades put pressure on him. Both of them, as their supervisors had noticed, preferred reading clas­ sical literature to integrating themselves into the “collective” of the border soldiers.