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East German death toll revised upwards

AFP · 11 Aug 2010, 18:28

Published: 11 Aug 2010 18:28 GMT+02:00

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The new list published by the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, covering the period of the Berlin Wall, "is by no means complete" and is still a "working draft," it said in a statement.

The new list includes Klaus Kuehne, shot by border guards in 1962 whilst attempting to swim across a river to West Germany. His fate was not known until now.

Another is Karl-Heinz I., an officer in the East German army, who committed suicide just a few hours before the construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961.

"I am no longer able to fulfil my tasks. I am too weak to do so. May my wife forgive me. It is better this way.'," the museum cited a suicide note found in his pocket as saying.

The repressive communist country, which also locked up political prisoners and where Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up, effectively collapsed in November 1989 when the Berlin Wall was torn down in a peaceful revolution.

Story continues below…

Unification with West Germany took place the following year.

The total number of deaths is disputed and may never be known, with official figures and some historians putting the number of people killed much lower, partly because of stricter criteria.

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Your comments about this article

23:42 August 11, 2010 by wenddiver
There are so many memorials to Hitler's victims. Now we should begin building momuments in equal numbers to the victims of the DDR, so that the world never forgets what the Russians and their stooges did.
00:54 August 12, 2010 by William Thirteen
equal numbers?
07:42 August 12, 2010 by wenddiver
Yes, equal numbers, at least one large memorial for each murder, so we never forget what these bas#7*ds did. Hopefully it will haunt the Officials for the rest of their sorry lives.
08:20 August 12, 2010 by hanskarl
I seriously doubt the half has been told.
11:28 August 12, 2010 by moistvelvet
Stooges? Well I'd imagine there are quite a few Germans who would rather all this was forgotten and buried, they don't want the past being dug up which may highlight what they did in the name of the party.
21:15 August 12, 2010 by wxman
I would imagine that the transition to DDR employment by former Nazis following the war was far easier than that of their comrades in the west. As Pete Townsend articulated so well, "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss..."
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