Chris Gueffroy

20-year-old Chris Gueffroy wanted to flee from the German Democratic Republic with his friend Christian Gaudian in the night of February 5, 1989. 

In the process they set off the alarm at a steel-lattice fence. Gueffroy was fatally shot in the heart by the border guards.  Gaudian suffered a shot through the foot.

The death notice of the Gueffroy family appeared in an East Berlin newspaper. It was the first time that the family of someone shot at the Wall was allowed to publicly announce their grief.

The GDR government sentenced Gaudian to three years in prison for illegal border crossing. The West German government paid for his release and expulsion in September 1989.

After German reunification Ingo Heinrich, the border patrol who had fired the fatal shot, was sentenced to three and a half years. In 1993 the Federal Supreme Court moderated the penalty to two years of probation. 

 

 

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