Those barricades can only hold for so long
July 3, 2008 10:01 PM Subscribe
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy (16 comments total)
12 users marked this as a favorite
Twenty years ago this week, the biggest escape ever over the Berlin Wall took place
, but the event
went nearly unreported outside of the two Germanies. The 182 persons who jumped over the Wall in the early morning hours of 1 July 1988, instead of leaving East Germany, fled in the opposite direction
(scroll down to "Wolfgang Ritter"
) to escape the West Berlin police. East German border guards waited with trucks on the other side of the Wall in the middle of the death strip to pick up the wall-hopping protesters; they were driven to another location, served breakfast, and then taken to the Friedrichsstrasse crossing to West Berlin with the admonition to "use the usual border crossing next time."
The Lenné Triangle, where the wall jumpers lived in their tent village
(including a "People's Kitchen") for the month before the police raid (slideshow here
), was part of the bustling Potsdamer Platz before the Second World War. On the division of Berlin it turned into a no-man's land and an accidental nature preserve
. After the reunification of Berlin it again became part of the center of commercial development
. In 2007, $117 million in restitution was finally paid to the Wertheim family
, who had owned the property and been stripped of it in the 1930s due to National Socialist anti-Jewish laws.