East German death toll revised upwards
AFP · 11 Aug 2010, 18:28
Published: 11 Aug 2010 18:28 GMT+02:00
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.
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.