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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rapid City in Pennington County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Cruel Border

The Berlin Wall Memorial

 
 
The Cruel Border Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, August 10, 2017
1. The Cruel Border Marker
Inscription.  
Sometimes East German border guards themselves took advantage of lapses of attention to escape the watch of their colleagues, as Conrad Schumann did by leaping over the barbed wire and fleeing to the West. Most often, however, people attempting escape were caught, arrested, and incarcerated.

After the wall was reinforced and the "death Strip" widened, those despairing of their freedom resorted to cunning to escape. The fortifications became so sophisticated that almost the only way to get from one side to the other was to do it legally. From 1963 until 1989, 34,000 political prisoners were "bought free" by the West German government for a price of $2.5 billion, all of it paid through the German Protestant Church.

While the East Germans never ceased building on the wall, Westerners erected memorials to the dead. The menacing, gray wall provoked would-be and genuine artists to "beautify" it with words, graffiti or commentary.

Picture captions:
Border guard Conrad Schumann leaped to freedom to join his family, which had fled East Berlin previously. This award-winning photo
The Cruel Border Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, August 10, 2017
2. The Cruel Border Marker
appeared on front pages of newspapers around the world.

This child wanted to cross the border but the guard's orders were to let nobody pass. Nevertheless, he opened the barbed wire. His superior saw him acting contrary to the command and dispatched him.

On Bemauerstrasse, the apartments were in East Berlin, while the sidewalks were in West Berlin. When residents were found calling out and jumping from the windows, all openings were bricked up.
 
Erected 1996.
 
Location. 44° 5.166′ N, 103° 13.671′ W. Marker is in Rapid City, South Dakota, in Pennington County. Memorial is on Mount Rushmore Road. The Berlin Wall memorial is located in Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 434 N Mt Rushmore Rd, Rapid City SD 57701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The American Commitment (here, next to this marker); Berlin Wall Segments (here, next to this marker); Confrontation (a few steps from this marker); Tank Traps (a few steps from this marker); To our Visitors (a few steps from this marker); Construction of the Wall (a few steps from this marker); Celebrating Victory (a few steps from this marker); A City Divided (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rapid City.
 
Related markers.
The Berlin Wall Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, August 10, 2017
3. The Berlin Wall Memorial
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  The Berlin Wall Memorial. (Submitted on July 9, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
 
Categories. War, Cold
 

More. Search the internet for The Cruel Border.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 9, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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