East German soldier helps a little boy sneak across the Berlin Wall, 1961

This is a picture of an East German soldier helping a little boy cross the newly built Berlin Wall on the day it was built. A boy who was left behind while trying to escape from people and families stranded on different sides of the border. The soldier is young, and his eyes, looking warily over his shoulder, are filled with fear. And yet, he persisted.

Despite being ordered by the East German government not to allow anyone into East Berlin, the soldier helped the boy sneak through the Barbwehr. It was reported that the soldier was caught doing this charitable act by his superior officer, who removed the soldier from his unit. Hopefully, his sentence was modest and he was not imprisoned or shot. The description in this photo comes with the caveat that "no one knows what happened to him".

But how did this little boy end up on the opposite side of the wall from his parents? According to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin, his father, one of the boy's parents, accompanied the boy to West Germany to visit relatives, while the rest of the boy's family was at home in the east.

The prohibition against crossing sectors happened overnight and thus separated the family. The father believed that the boy should grow up with his mother, so he asked the boy to walk over the fence where this soldier picked him up.

On the night of 12 and 13 August 1961, the police and units of the East German Army began to close the border and by Sunday morning, the border with West Berlin was closed.

East German soldiers and workers began tearing down roads running along the border to make them impassable for most vehicles, and 156 kilometers (97 mi) and 43 kilometers (27 mi) apart around the three western sectors. To entangle with barbed wire and install fences. miles) that divided West and East Berlin.

The barrier was built inside East Berlin or East German territory to ensure that it did not encroach on West Berlin at any time. Usually the wall was only a short distance inside East Berlin, but in some places it was at some distance from the legal limit. Later, the initial barrier was built into the wall proper, with the first concrete elements and larger blocks being put in place on 17 August.

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