The East German policemen Rudolf K. and Reinhardt R. had just joined the Berlin riot police in the spring of 1961 and later had been assigned to border duty with their unit. Both men were friends of Conrad Schumann, who had jumped over the barbed wire fence on August 15. The next day they were assigned to guard the grounds of the Kobold factory near Bernauer Strasse 19.
The buildings here had been destroyed during the war which is why a rather low wall stood on the border there. At midnight when the new guards arrived for the next shift, a comrade discovered that both men had disappeared. The border guards were unable to establish why and how Rudolf K. and Reinhardt R. were able to get to the West.