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Chronicle 1962

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  • August

    • 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


      Peter Fechter, helplessly bleeding to death in the "death strip", 17 August 1962
      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.

      Demonstration by Berlin residents protesting at the murder of Peter Fechter – and at the passivity of the Western Allies.
      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.
      Peter Fechter, shot dead on August 17, 1962 on Zimmerstrasse near the Friedrich/Zimmerstrasse border crossing (“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. more
    • 23 August


      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. Hans-Dieter Wesa, shot dead at the Bornholmer Strasse S-Bahn station on August 23, 1962
    • August 1961

      "The month of August was overshadowed by the one-year anniversary of the construction of the 'Wall'. Looking back, it can be seen that the tasks for police resulting from the existence of the 'Wall' have not grown easier. This is not likely to change in the future, either, since as long as the 'Wall' stands, the human suffering and sympathy it causes will constantly provoke the outrage of the residents of West Berlin," the West Berlin police write in their monthly report about developments at the sector and zone border. Report by the West Berlin police on the situation on the sector and zone border as well as suburban and East German Reichsbahn (Reich Railway) premises for the month of August 1962 (in German)
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