Border, Contemporary Witnesses, East

A secret mission to guard the border

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When the Wall goes up, Heinz Kube is 35 years old and works in foreign trade in the GDR. He is in the workers' militia, known as combat groups, and is called up to report to his company on the morning of Sunday, 13 August 1961. The combat groups are given weapons and uniforms and ordered to guard the border. It is a top secret mission and they must not reveal their whereabouts to their families.

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, Brandenburger Tor