New Berlin Wall Book to Settle Casualty Debate | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 17.05.2008
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New Berlin Wall Book to Settle Casualty Debate

A "Book of the Berlin Wall" to be issued this year is to tell the life stories of all 134 persons killed on the mid-city fortifications operated by the Communists from 1961 to 1989, an historian said Saturday, May 17.

Berlin Wall

According to the book, 134 people lost their lives near the Berlin Wall

The exact number of Berlin Wall casualties has been disputed for years, so an official roll of the dead is to settle the issue.

Some people were killed at the concrete wall and minefields, patrolled by armed guards with fierce dogs, as news photographers watched, but others vanished in the dead of night.

Hans-Hermann Hertle of the Research Center for Contemporary History at Potsdam, near Berlin, said Saturday the final count after years of historical research included 99 people who had been shot dead, had fatal accidents or committed suicide during escape attempts.

The rest comprised eight border guards who were killed while at work and 27 people from both the democratic West and communist East who were shot or suffered fatal accidents at the Wall although they were not attempting to flee from the communist zone.

Hertle said the book would be issued this August 13 to mark the 47th anniversary of the start of the Wall. Large numbers were also killed at a separate fence dividing East from West Germany.

Germany has also published death rolls containing biographical data of other human-rights victims, including all the German citizens who died in the Holocaust.

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