“Murderers!” – Peter Fechter




In 1962 and shortly after the partitioning, Peter Fechter attempted to flee from East Germany together with his friend Helmut Kulbeik over the Berlin Wall into the Kreuzberg district of West Berlin near Checkpoint Charlie.

When both reached the wall, guards fired at them.

Kulbeik succeeded.

Fechter did not.

He was shot in the pelvis in plain view of hundreds of witnesses and fell back into the “death-strip” on the Eastern side.

Despite his screams, he received no medical attention from the East side, and could not be reached by those on the West side.

He slowly bled to death over the course of the following hour.

He was 18 years old. A memorial to Peter Fechter on Zimmerstraße, in German reads “…he just wanted freedom.”

Hundreds in West Berlin formed a spontaneous demonstration, shouting “Murderers!” at the border guards.

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