Escaping East Germany



Only pensioners were allowed emigrate out of East Germany, since they were seen as a drain on the state and the fees for their emigration were high. Many who tried to escape used middlemen known as Fluchthilfer and was expensive. There were two borders between the Germanys, a 856-mile strip between the two countries that stretched from the Baltic Sea to the border with Czechoslovakia, and a and the 96-mile line that surrounded West Berlin. The highly fortified main border between the two countries was widely mined and booby-trapped, but the Berlin border was not. Some attempted to escape through Berlin's ancient sewer system. When the East German police discovered this they cemented the sewer lids shut .Some used tunnels and even a home made hot air balloon. Others swam across the Havel River .An estimated 136 people were killed by the East German frontier guards trying to escape.



 The Tunnel - Escaping from Communist Regime, Berlin 1961



 Go West - Escape from East Berlin



 Top 10 Berlin Wall Escapes



 Footage of actual escape attempts


 Practical Ballooning: The GDR Balloon - Night Crossing




The Stasi


East German Military