Border, Escaping, Contemporary Witnesses, East

Escaping across the allotments

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The allotment garden on Kiefholzstrasse in Treptow was home to both East and West Berliners who happily lived side by side – until 13 August 1961. When the Wall went up, the allotments were the only escape route for some, such as Monika Schönicke. Her father, who had already escaped to the West and was waiting on the other side, used garden shears to cut through the allotment's wire-mesh fence.

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-Treptow, Kiefholzstraße