The memorial to Peter Fechter. A round basalt block indicates the precise location of the site on which Peter Fechter died. The cobblestones shows the location of the Wall.
MEMORIAL TO PETER FECHTER, BERLIN
Zimmerstrasse, between Charlottenstrasse and Markgrafenstrasse. Near Checkpoint Charlie.
KILLING IN HORRIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES
Peter Fechter, an 18-year-old bricklayer, is one of the strongest symbols of the killing of a fugitive at the Berlin Wall.
He was shot by East German border guards on August 17, 1962. Together with another friend, Helmut Kulbeik, he tried to climb the wall. Severely wounded, he fell back onto the so-called “Death Strip” between the inner and outer wall on the East German side of the border. West Berliners tried to throw bandages down to the screaming Fechter who was, however, unable to do anything. The East German border guards let him bleed to death without any help and only took him away an hour later when it was clear that he was dead. It was not permitted for the West German police or the Western Allied soldiers at nearby Checkpoint Charlie to intervene on the East German side of the border. It would have been an unlawful violation of the border and would have certainly been followed up with further shooting from the East German border guards.
Helmuth Kubeik escaped unhurt.
The West Berliners raised a wooden cross at the site, later replaced by the present steel memorial. The spot on which he died is marked in front of the memorial by basalt rock.