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German History in Documents and Images
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Victims of the June 17th Uprising are Remembered at a Memorial Service in front of Schöneberg City Hall in West Berlin (June 23, 1953)
On June 23, 1953, a memorial service was held in West Berlin for the victims of the violent suppression of the June 17th uprising. The coffins of seven Berlin victims who were honored with an official state funeral were laid out in front of the Schöneberg City Hall. Eulogies were delivered by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Governing Mayor of Berlin Ernst Reuter, and Minister for All-German Affairs Jakob Kaiser. An empty coffin was also laid out in memory of Willy Göttling, who was shot in the GDR under martial law on June 18th. Authorities refused to return his body. In March 2003, Göttling was rehabilitated by the senior military prosecutor of the Russian Federation and was recognized as having been “repressed on political grounds.” The exact number of victims of the June 17, 1953, uprising still remains unclear; 55 deaths have been documented. Photo by Carl Weinrother.