An escape fit for the circus
As a fireman in West Berlin, Werner Grützmann is often called out to the border between East and West. These operations generally involve him and his colleagues holding out rescue nets for East Berliners escaping by jumping out of windows. Just before Christmas in 1962, his unit is sent to Teltow Canal to respond to an unusual call for help.
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.