24 January: Twenty-eight men, women and children escape to West Berlin through a tunnel dug under the Wall. A GDR border soldier who has fled to West Berlin reports on the situation at the border and in East Germany.
22 February: US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the brother of President John F. Kennedy, visits West Berlin. With the Ruling Mayor Willy Brandt, he drives to the Wall at Potsdam Square and the Brandenburg Gate.
22 March: The GDR government introduces travel visas for West German citizens who wish to travel to East Germany.
3 April: The first East German conscripts begin serving with the border troops after the GDR Volkskammer (parliament) passes the law on compulsory military service.
23 May: A 15-year-old school pupil from Erfurt, Wilfried Tews, tries to escape through the Spandau shipping canal at East Berlin’s Invalidenfriedhof cemetery. He is fired at by GDR border police and reaches West Berlin severely injured.
West Berlin police return fire after bullets shot by GDR border soldiers land on their side. The East German NCO Peter Göring is hit by a ricochet while trying to get in a better position to kill the boy, and is fatally injured.
26 May: During the night, a group of young West Berliners that is actively involved in helping people escape from the GDR carries out the biggest bomb attack on the Wall to date. The explosion at the corner of Bernauer Strasse and Schwedter Strasse tears a hole several metres across in the concrete.
27 May: The 24-year-old bricklayer Lutz Haberlandt is shot dead by transport police while trying to cross the Wall near the East Berlin Charité and escape to West Berlin.
5 June: The 17-year-old Axel Hannemann tries to escape to West Berlin across the Spree and is shot dead by border police. "When you read this letter, I will have left our state or …..," he writes in a farewell letter. "Please forgive me, if you can. There is no other way out for me. I’ll write and tell you the reason when I’ve done it. (…) Greetings and kisses."
8 June: More than ten East Berliners hijack a pleasure steamer belonging to the Weisse Flotte line, cross the Spree amid a hail of bullets from GDR border guards and reach the bank on the West Berlin side. The West Berlin police, who are also shot at, return fire.
10 June: Wolfgang Glöde, a 13-year-old schoolboy, is shot dead while trying to flee from the East Berlin district of Treptow to West Berlin.
12 June: Thirty-four East Berliners escape to West Berlin through tunnels.
18 June: The East German border soldier Reinhold Huhn is shot by the West German "escape agent" Rudolf Müller as he confronts 22 East Berliners who want to escape through a tunnel to West Berlin. Only four people succeed in escaping. Directly after the escape, Western authorities claim that Reinhold Huhn was accidentally shot by a comrade. After the Wall comes down in 1989, Müller comes before a court charged with the killing of a GDR border soldier; in 2000 he is given a suspended sentence of one year for murder.
13 August: First anniversary of the construction of the Wall.
14 August: The captain of the GDR border troops, Rudi Arnstädt, is shot dead on GDR territory in Wiesenthal near Bad Salzungen, probably by officers from the West German Federal Border Guard. The incident remains unexplained to this day.
17 August: The 18-year-old construction worker Peter Fechter is shot at while trying to escape at the Wall. He bleeds to death in the border zone, receiving help neither from the Eastern nor the Western side. During the night and following days, there are rallies and riots by enraged West Berliners to protest against the Wall and the passivity of the American protecting power.
On 18 August, the American city commander, Major-General Albert E. Watson, describes the incident as "an act of barbaric inhumanity". From 21 August, an Allied ambulance is stationed at Checkpoint Charlie.
23 August: The Soviet news agency TASS announces that the command of the garrison of Soviet troops in Berlin is to be disbanded at the order of the Soviet government. A German city commander (Major-General Helmut Poppe) is to replace the Soviet one, with headquarters in the Berlin district of Karlshorst. All border troop units are now answerable to the Ministry for National Defence.
The USSR Defence Ministry describes the four-power status of Berlin as no longer existent. – On the same day, the 19-year-old transport policeman Hans-Dieter Wesa is shot dead by his own comrades while attempting to escape to the West from the Bornholmer Strasse train station in East Berlin.
8 September: In a speech at the 15th "German Workers Conference", Walter Ulbricht defends the Wall as an "anti-fascist protective rampart": "No one should think we are in love with the Wall; that is by no means the case. (…) The anti-fascist protective rampart was necessary to stand up to the military adventurers."
24 September: For the first time, 20 prisoners and 20 children from the GDR are ransomed by the West German government. The West German government pay the GDR with three railway wagons full of fertiliser.
14-27 October: The Cuba Crisis. US President John F. Kennedy manages to halt preparations to station Soviet medium-range missiles on Cuba by threatening to use nuclear weapons.
24 October: While visiting the Wall, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, states: "I should like to clearly emphasise that the protective wall outstandingly serves the interests of the GDR and peace. I don’t say that the imperialists like this, but they already respect it. They know that this is a serious matter and that the GDR, the Soviet Union and the other socialist states seriously intend to protect their interests and will not allow any violation of the sovereign rights of the GDR."
26/27 October: The "Spiegel Affair" begins: police search the premises of the Hamburg news magazine "Der Spiegel". In the issue 41/62 of 10 October 1962, the "Spiegel" had reported on the NATO manoeuvre "Fallex 62"; the editor Rudolf Augstein and other journalists involved are temporarily arrested on suspicion of treason.
23 November: The GDR defence minister calls in his order No. 101/62 for an improvement in the firearms training of border troops. The order states that the training is to be organised and carried out in such a way that each border soldier is turned into an excellent marksman and is able to destroy any stationary or moving target with the first shot (burst of fire) by day and by night."
10-12 December: At a conference of the Supreme Soviet, the Soviet party and state leader Nikita Khrushchev calls West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer the "Chancellor of the Cold War" and threatens West Germany with Soviet nuclear missiles. He says that Adenauer’s joy at the hardline course taken by the West, which had allegedly forced the Soviet Union to withdraw their missiles from Cuba, was in vain: "I dare to assure you, Mr Chancellor, that, when we took the decision to take four dozen missiles to Cuba, we left your ration untouched, so to speak, in case you were to think up some kind of aggression in Europe. Now, however, that our missiles have come back from Cuba, to your satisfaction, we are adding them to the defence system covering our western borders."
24 December: Many West Berliners follow an appeal by the Committee for an Indivisible Germany (Kuratorium Unteilbares Deutschland) and place candles in their windows on Christmas Eve to demonstrate their unbroken resolve to bring about reunification.
26 December: On Boxing Day, there is a successful escape made in an armoured bus.