Tour M – Under the Berlin Wall

Hear the stories of the people who tunnelled to freedom

In August 1961, the East German government ordered the erection of the Berlin Wall. Since then, many attempts were made to dig tunnels through Berlin’s sandy soil in order to overcome the heavily guarded border. The first tunnel was dug in October 1961, the last one in 1984. There were more than seventy escape tunnels in all; and in total, more than 300 citizens of the GDR were able to escape through those, which were successful. When the East German secret police (Stasi) learned of these operations, the outcomes differed. Sometimes this lead to spectacular cloak-and-dagger operations, other times to betrayal and bitter failure. A cat-and-mouse game played between the tunnel builders and the Stasi, meant that those wished to escape faced ever worsening odds.

Tour M gives you an insight into the history of these escape tunnels, and delves into the subject of the subterranean border – in the subway and sewer systems, which were used by those trying to flee the east. After a visit to various photo exhibitions in a former civil defence shelter, our guests will be taken via the subway to Bernauer Strasse. There more than seven escape tunnels were attempted within a distance of just 350 meters of each other. Here you will hear tales of betrayal in addition to the story of the two most successful tunnels.

After the tour we recommend a visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial documentary centre.

Impressions