Escape in November 1986

  • Dieter H.'s escape route, 1986
    © Bundesarchiv Militärarchiv
  • © Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

On the evening of November 19, 1986, Dieter H. was able to flee to the West from Brunnenstraße. The toolmaker had made a small extension ladder that he used to climb over the inner wall. Using a bolt clipper he cut through the signal fence. Although the signal fence and a signal device installed on the inner wall were triggered, the border guards did not notice him until he had almost reached the border wall. Dieter H. leaned the ladder against it and was able to climb over uninjured although guards on Kremmener Straße fired a total of twelve shots at him. The border guards on the Strelitzer Straße watchtower did not shoot. Dieter H. broke both his heels when he jumped down from the Wall. He was taken away in an ambulance.

Before he escaped, Dieter H. had applied to the East German authorities for an exit visa, but his request was rejected. He served a two­year prison sentence for political reasons. After his release he decided to flee to the West.

He fell onto the east side but was able to get back up and climb up again. He fell onto the west side with his hands up. Günter A. was promptly taken away in an ambulance.