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East Berliners Flee to the West (September 16, 1961)
Whereas the houses on the south side of Bernauer Straße were still part of the Soviet zone, the houses on the north side, as well as the street itself, belonged to the French zone. Numerous East Berliners thus undertook dramatic flight attempts there, some of which involved jumping out of windows. Therefore, starting in September/October 1961, East Berlin authorities saw to it that all the windows and doors of these houses were sealed off little by little, and that houses in the immediate border area were forcibly cleared. Over the course of the 1960s, these houses were partially torn down, but the remaining facades were actually used as part of the border fortification until they were finally demolished in 1979-80. Today, Bernauer Straße is the site of the city’s central memorial to the Wall and those who died there. Photographer unknown.