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Chronicle 1963

  • January 
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  • June

    • 1 June - 1 July


      The start of actually paying ransom for prisoners: after another trial run with eight prisoners, where both partners successfully test whether the other side is willing and able to guarantee the confidentiality of this trade, the GDR shows itself prepared to sell between 500 and 1,500 political prisoners to West Germany each year. more
    • 21 June


      The GDR Council of Ministers issues a regulation on “Measures to Protect the State Border between the GDR and West Berlin”. Defence Minister Heinz Hoffmann adds an order regarding “The Establishment of a Border Zone on the State Border of the GDR to West Berlin”. After this, the border area in Berlin consists of a “protective strip” that is 100 metres wide; in the district of Potsdam it is 500 metres wide. To enter the border area, it is necessary to obtain permission.
    • 26 June


      John F. Kennedy and Willy Brandt at the Schöneberg Town Hall in Berlin, 26 June 1963
      During his German trip from 23 to 26 June, US President John F. Kennedy visits West Berlin on 26 June. His words at a rally at the Schöneberg Town Hall – "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner" – provoke a storm of applause. more
  • July 
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