Episode 65: Peter Fechter

peter fechter roberta caldasLocation:

Zimmerstraße 26, 10969 Berlin


  • Column designed by Karl Biedermann
  • Most notable death of East Berlin escapees

Walking around Checkpoint Charlie can be challenging: the commodification of the past might get in your nerves if the herds of people don’t do the job first.

Everything is overwhelming: the tourists, the sounds, the big sign with this guy’s face, the actors dressed up as soldiers, the exhibitions, the tours promoters… In the middle of all that fuss you might not even notice a weathering steel column on Zimmerstrasse, close to where the border was.

This column commemorates 18 year old Peter Fechter who died trying to overcome the Berlin Wall on August 17th, 1962. It has been there since 1999 to replace the original cross put up by West Berlin citizens right after Peter’s death. His shocking murder became the symbol of East Germany’s inhumane treatment to its citizens.

To learn about Peter Fechter’s story and the events that led to his death, listen to our talk below:

Photo and episode: Roberta Caldas

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