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October 18 , 2008

Outpost Berlin

Cold War 1961–1964


University student Helmut Wegner curses himself for his procrastination as he waits in the rain in the muddy woods for his Flüchthelfer, the escape helpers. Twelve weeks earlier, prior to August 13, 1961, he could have strolled easily across the border separating East Berlin from the section occupied by the three Western allies. Now, crossing the border is a dangerous endeavor. But Wegner is far from the only man who seeks to escape. Outpost Berlin chronicles the tales of both successful and failed escape attempts over the Berlin Wall since its erection in 1961. Each chapter begins with a short historical background and description of the location, a dedication to an American or German who played a significant role in the defense of West Berlin, and a prologue detailing the implications that the incidents had for West Berlin’s future. Capturing the essence of the era, Outpost Berlin presents a historical look at the stories of American military intelligence officers, German escapees, and the escape helpers.

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