Workers' combat groups secure the border
The reality of the situation in Berlin suddenly dawns on Lothar Werth on 13 August 1961. On the radio he hears the order for all forces to report to their designated positions - and this includes Lothar. The 22-year-old works in foreign trade. He is not a Party member, but he is in the workers' militia, known as combat groups.
In 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wall going up, the rbb interviewed Berliners to find out what the division of the city meant to them. The Wall had a profound impact on the way each person went about their daily lives - no matter what side they found themselves on. Overnight people were cut off from their friends and relatives, from their offices, factories and schools, and from places where they enjoyed spending their leisure time. The division of the city tore families apart, ruptured biographies and claimed many lives.
Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie