After the Wall went up on 13 August 1961, individuals and institutions in both the public and private sector started compiling information on people who died attempting to escape the GDR. The figures quoted by the Wall memorial are based on the research of many dedicated people.
It was not only people in Berlin and along the entire inner-German border who were killed; rather, there were many who died trying to escape over the Baltic Sea or across the East German border to other countries. Others were arrested already in the planning stages of their escape and then executed or killed some other way. Even people who had managed to get out and believed they were safe in the West were either killed in their new home or kidnapped, taken back to the GDR, and killed there. Soldiers in the GDR’s National People’s Army and members of the Soviet armed forces also died in escape attempts.
This memorial lists the number of known and confirmed deaths for each year on original segments of the Wall (based on research done by December 2003).
The Wall segments were preserved and painted by Ben Wagin. Stephan Braunfels, the architect of the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, arranged them to follow the original course of the Wall, so that they cut into the architecture of the building like a painful gash.
(Source: German Bundestag)