December 21, 2012
She’ll never know why, on August 7 1970, her father was in the border area near the Berlin Wall.
The only thing she knows is that East German border guards fired 177 shots at him.
Monika N. was 13 when she lost her father. Her sister was a year older.
The worst thing on that summer day, she remembers, was the uncertainty. Nobody in the West knew that her father, Gerald Thiem had been shot.
They only found out 24 years later, well after their mother – who thought her husband had deserted the family – died.
The West Berlin bricklayer is just one of many “Wall victims” whose death was successfully covered up by the East German security service (Stasi, short for Staatssicherheit, literally State Security). By 1989, 136 people hadbeen killed at The Wall, most of them – unlike Thiem – as they tried to flee from East to West.
This article was posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 at 6:33 am