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DDR Revisited...
Lest We Forget!

 

Warning:

This page includes graphic photos of injured and deceased people.

 

In my mind, the DDR (East Germany) was little more than a 17 million person Soviet war prison. It existed for over 40 years. The first picture below shows a typical fortification layout, circa 1975-80, along the (former) East-West German border, in the Harz Mountains, perhaps.

 

border fortifications

 

The next 2 photos show close ups of the devious automatic firing device, "SM 70" (Splittermine Modell 1970). They are shown mounted on metal trellis fences. The SM-70s were dismantled sometime during the 1980s at the insistence of the West German government.

 

 

SM 70s

 

This next photo shows the trigger-wires for the SM 70s. The photo was taken from the East German side.

 

 

This next photo shows the deployed SM 70 devices as seen from the west, looking east. Notice they are again positioned at different heights.

 

 

Below is a victim of the SM 70s. Also shown are some SM 70 fragments. Click here to see more on the victims of the SM 70 device (in German, of course).

 

 

Next we have the victim of a conventional firearm wielded by a border guard with orders to shoot to kill. Below that, we see the aftermath of someone who stepped on a land mine while trying to escape from East Germany. I imagine that he was screaming in pain, but was just ignored by the border guards as he lay there bleeding to death.

 

 

From the above photos, the assumed identity "H. Genau" was perhaps to remind himself that he must be very careful doing what he was about to try. You see, "genau" is the German word for "exact"! And below is the land mine victim's face.

 

 

Below is the cover of my source for the black and white pictures found on this page.

 

Source

 

Well, after seeing all of that sadness, you deserve a break! Here's a webpage by "Der Spiegel" (in German, of course), which tells of numerous successful escapes from the DDR. I guarantee you at least one smile!

English readers who don't want to hassle with the translation machine may wish to look here for some interesting background information, or here for a historical time line of the Berlin Wall.


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