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Peter Fechter
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Martyr
    (January 14, 1944-August 17, 1962)
    Shot in the pelvis and bled to death attempting to scale the Berlin Wall from East to West Berlin
    He knew the wall was going up in 1961 but waited a year until it was completed before deciding West Berlin was the better place to live.
    He was one of the wall's first victims and because of an international photo, it's most famous (see picture).
    He paid the ultimate price in his quest for freedom.
    Nearly 35 years later, two former East German guards were convicted of his killing (they admitted to it) but were given just one year's probation.
    His friend who went with him, Helmut Kulbeik, managed to successfully scale the wall and escape, though he could not help his comrade.
    It took over an hour for him to die as he laid in a crumpled heap, moaning and bleeding at the wall base.
    U.S. soldiers on the West side wanted to aid him, but their commanding officer with direct orders from the U.S. Commandant in West Berlin ordered them to 'stand firm and do nothing.'
    In death, he became a martyr against the Eastern Bloc. Streets have been named after him, a monument was erected at the spot where he died and on the first anniversary of his death, a wreath was laid in his honor by the mayor of West Berlin.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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