Erich B. lived with his wife, two children and his mother-in-law at Swinemuender Straße 23. After the Wall was built, the family decided to flee. On September 19, 1961 they jumped from the first floor of the building next door, Bernauer Straße 42, into the rescue net of the West Berlin fire department. Erich B. broke his thigh bone during the fall and had to stay in the hospital for six months. The rest of the family survived the escape unharmed.