1962 Photo Contest, News, 2nd prize

Wilhelm Mann

01 January, 1962

An East German guard looks through his binoculars over the Berlin Wall in the direction of Berlin’s Neukölln district, part of the American sector bordering the USSR-controlled district of Treptow.

On 13 August 1961, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) had started the construction of a barrier cutting off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and East Berlin. East Germany claimed that the wall was erected to protect the population from ‘fascist elements’ entering the country from the west. In reality, the wall was built to stop the massive emigration and defection from East to West. With the closing of the border between Berlin’s East and West sector, East Germans could no longer travel to West Germany. East Berliners working in the Western sector were cut off their jobs, while many Berlin families were split. And West Berlin became an isolated exclave in hostile territory.

About the photographer

Wilhelm Mann

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