What happened to the GDR border guard who jumped the Berlin wall

History 24/03/20 What happened to the GDR border guard who jumped the Berlin wall

According to official statistics, over 28 years, during which time the wall divided East and West Berlin, the citizens of the East side, there were more than 60 thousand attempts of its overcoming. More than 5 thousand shoots has been successful. Among them, special attention is given to the act of the border guard Conrad Schumann, who on duty had to guard the border. But instead, Schumann just jumped the Berlin wall.

the Escape

In fact, 15 August 1961, when 19-year-old Conrad Schumann made an escape, no walls in the literal sense of the word did not exist. The construction began only the day before. And while the border was formed by a low barbed wire fence. According to witnesses, at that day, Schumann was acting nervous, pacing back and forth, Smoking, and a small area even took the wire leg. Noticing this, the Western guards began to strongly encourage Conrad phrases like: “Jump!” and “Come on!” In the end, Schumann fled and jumped the wire. He threw his arms up, and immediately a police car parked on the other side of the border, took him out of sight.

Some photos and minoritary, who became frequent guests on the border, managed to shoot jump Schumann on film. Moreover, there are even video of the incident. But one of the most successful was the still picture of Peter Leibing. Subsequently, this picture will become a real symbol of the era.


Despite the fact that the escape Schumann ended well, he lived a very unhappy life. He settled in Bavaria, started a family. More than 25 years, he worked at the plant “Audi” ordinary working. Perhaps he was lonely and he was tormented by the guilt of loved ones. Because all of his relatives were on the other side of the wall. Besides a lifetime of Schumann pursuit.if the idea that he’s being followed by officers of the Ministry of state security of the GDR “Stasi”. He was sure that sooner or later will kill him.

unable to bear the mental agony, in 1998, Conrad Schumann hanged himself in a grove near his home. No suicide note he left.

the causes of the escape

as for the reasons why the border guard to escape, that is the version that at the time of committing a legendary jump Schumann was already married. But his young wife was on the other side of the Berlin wall. It to her, and sought young man.

Also, allegedly, the same day, when Schumann decided to escape, on their side of the border he had to keep the little child who longed for his mother, who was in West Berlin. This dramatic scene, which turned out to be, and Schumann himself, was the young man that called the last straw.

the Version about staging

However, many skeptics believe that the whole story of the jump is fabricated. According to them, suspicions are many circumstances of this case. For example, the fact that the photographers and cameramen were in the time of the jump next to Schumann, and, in full “combat readiness”. Or another question: why the fugitive no one tried to detain? Or: why Schumann reconnected with the family that left? After all, the Berlin wall was destroyed in 1989, 9 years before the suicide of the former border guard. However, despite the words of the supporters of version about staging “a jump in freedom”, while their version is just a guess.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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