In the 32nd year after the fall of the Berlin Wall we honour Dieter Berger. Dieter Berger from Glienicke, Oranienburg district, is  24 years old when in December 1963 he finds himself in the East-Berlin border region, not far away his workplace.  Neither eyewitness accounts nor archive material can provide any accurate information why he ended up here. According to border troops and Stasi files, he attempted to cross the border fortifications. His relatives suggest that wandered around disoriented after some drinking and entered the border region only by accident. 

Dieter Berger attends school from 1947 to 1955, followed by an apprenticeship as a bricklayer in a state-owned company in East Berlin. In 1962 he marries Gerda, five years his junior. They move into a small house with a yard in Glienicke. Looking back, his widow states that her husband, a motorcycle enthusiast, did not care about politics. Escape has never been an issue between them. Family and friends also do not believe in an attempted escape.

December 13, 1963 is a Friday. In the morning Dieter Berger goes to work in Berlin-Adlershof as usual. During lunch break, he and his colleague allegedly get drunk. Afterwards, he must have walked to the neighboring Johannisthal district and  border posts watch him approaching the border fortifications. 

They assume that he must be an escapee and fire warning shots.  Dieter Berger climbs down the fence and raises his hands as they demand. Witnesses watch as he gets shot. Reports from the GDR border troops suggest that they were provoked. The witnesses did not see the provocation. Dieter Berger dies on his way to the Volkspolizei-hospital as a result of his injuries.

Pictures: Private (right of use is granted)

Source: Chronik der Mauer

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