21 August 1961
Following the walling-up of entrances and cellar and apartment windows belonging to houses situated directly on the border to West Berlin, the first forced evacuations from apartments begin. Residents are compelled to pack their furniture and load it into removal vans.
From West Berlin police reports: On 21.8.1961, at around 1 p.m., four British tanks, each with an infantry platoon, deployed on the zone border near Staaken between the bases B 4 and B 6 at a distance of between 60 and 500 metres from the border. This measure was taken because border fortification operations were carried out in the SOZ under the protection of five armoured reconnaissance vehicles.
The border fortification operations ceased at about 7.50 p.m., after which the armoured vehicles withdrew towards Falkensee. The British security forces remained in place. On 21.8.1961, at about 2 p.m., two boys aged 12 or 13 tried to swim across the Spandau Canal. Both were arrested by People’s Police and taken away to an unknown destination. During 21.8.1961, People’s Police, border police and marine police removed all the private vessels from boathouses and waterside properties between Lake Griebnitz, Lake Glienicke, Lake Jungfern, Sakrow and Brüningslinden and took them away in the direction of Potsdam.
On 21.8.1961, at about 9.10 a.m., a member of the Combat Groups in Neukölln, Harzer Strasse/Mengerzeile, fired a carbine at a female escapee of around 50 years of age. The shot missed its mark. The escapee reached West Berlin territory and went to the Marienfelde Refugee Centre. Four members of the People’s Police registered as refugees in West Berlin.