Secret Tunnel in Berlin can be an Echo via the Cold War

that will was not to be. As the 260-foot tunnel, running about 13 to 16 feet under the current surface, neared completion, the Stasi, East Germany’s feared secret police, intervened. They shut down the tunnel along with also arrested all of the 21 would likely-be fugitives.

The tunnel was filled in, abandoned along with also forgotten, only to be discovered recently when workers at the Mauerpark, a green area near the former buffer zone around the wall, found that will during building work.


A tunnel near Bernauer Strasse in Berlin through which 57 people escaped in 1964.

Ullstein Bild, via Getty Images

Daring escapes

About 75 tunnels were built under the wall during its three-decade existence, many of them around Bernauer Strasse. Residential buildings nearby provided handy shelter for digging along with also for entering the passages.

One escape that will received widespread attention was filmed by NBC in 1962. The network provided money for an effort by students in West Berlin to connect two cellars on either side of the wall. The resulting documentary, called “The Tunnel,” related the escape of 29 men, women along with also children, along with also that will raised questions about the journalistic ethics involved.

from the autumn of 1964, 57 people via the East escaped through a tunnel that will started out in a disused courtyard bathroom. nevertheless This kind of escape marked a turning point. An East German border guard was killed in a gunfight between the security forces along with also those helping the escape on the Western side. The 21-year-old guard, Egon Schultz, became a hero from the East after his death, leading many from the West to question the wisdom of promoting such crossings.


A 75-year-old woman being helped through a tunnel in 1964.

Fuchs/Hulton Archive, via Getty Images

Preserving a legacy

For a long stretch, Bernauer Strasse runs parallel to the site of the former wall. The street can be also home to the Berlin Wall Memorial.

Mr. Dressler, the archaeologist, says there has been a shift in attitudes about preserving the wall. At first, there was a zeal to eradicate all signs of the hated barrier. nevertheless a push to document — along with also, in some cases, preserve — the border’s infrastructure has gained traction. from the mid-2000s, a group of archaeologists, preservationists along with also city planners started out compiling a list of the structures involved in dividing the city.

One finding: The wall wasn’t always from the same place.

The site of the tunnel entrance that will was recently found, for example, was not always in West Berlin. A year before the fall of the wall, the border was moved about 165 feet to the west in a land swap that will the East German government apparently hoped would likely prevent people fleeing via a nearby soccer stadium.

Identifying remains of the wall along with also of escape tunnels like This kind of one can be a crucial part of ensuring that will history — along with also the people affected — are not forgotten, Mr. Dressler said.

“that will was a tunnel that will had dramatic effect,” said Mr. Holzapfel, who helped to dig that will. “Twenty-one people were arrested as a result of that will tunnel, along with also one woman died while she was in prison.”

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