Episode 70: Chris Gueffroy

chris gueffroy roberta caldas

Location:

Along Britzer Verbindungskanal between KGA Holunderbusch and Chris-Gueffroy-Allee (opposite to Nobelstrasse), 12437 Berlin

Facts:

  • 2.6m high
  • Placed on June 21st, 2003
  • Same designer of Peter Fechter’s column

Chris Gueffroy was only 20 when he decided that he would try to flee the GDR despite all the risks. On February 5th, 1989, just a few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Chris went for it. The bullet that went directly into his heart made him the last fatal victim made directly by the Wall system.

Since what would have been Chris’ 35th birthday, there is a column commemorating him on the Western side of what once was the border he attempted to cross and where in 1989 a cross was originally placed to commemorate his death.

Both his and Peter Fechter’s column were designed by Karl Biedermann. The same artist was chosen to make a link between one of the first fatal victims of the Wall and its last one. They have the same material and appearance, but fonts, information and shape are different. In Chris’ column, it is possible to read the circumstances of his death.

The part of the Berlin Wall Trail where Chris’ column stands can be reached through a street named after him, the Chris-Gueffroy-Allee, that crosses the canal.

To know more about Chris Gueffroy’s attempt to escape, listen to the talk below:

Photo and episode: Roberta Caldas

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