Friday, August 17, 2007

Peter Fechter and the Berlin Wall

Forty-five years ago today Peter Fechter tried to escape oppression and cross the newly constructed Berlin Wall. The price for trying to leave a "Worker's Paradise"... death.

The wall was constructed a year earlier to prevent East Germans from entering West Berlin. it was a barrier to keep people in; not out. West Berlin itself was not part of West Germany but those inside held West German citizenship and could freely travel into West Germany. On the other hand, East Berlin served as the capital of East Germany. However, none of the Allied powers ever officially recognized its status claiming treaty laws made East Berlin Soviet Occupied Territory and not part of East Germany.

The wall was built encircling the American, British, and French zones of Berlin (Map).

On the forty-fifth anniversary of Fechter's murder, let us remember and fight for the ideal he believed in: freedom.

1 comment:

Goethe Girl said...

I'm glad to see you commemorating Peter Fechter. In the early 1960s when I was a student in Germany, young people from all over the world routinely staged protests at the Wall against the Soviet occupation. (There are some wonderful pictures in a small book about Checkpoint Charlie.) Within a few years, German students were protesting against the U.S., and the people behind the Wall were basically forgotten.