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Chris Gueffroy
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Victim
    (June 21, 1968-February 6, 1989)
    Born in Viereck, Germany
    Waiter and bartender
    With Christian Gaudian, attempted to escape East Germany by climbing over the Berlin Wall
    Shot twice in the chest by border guards
    Last person fatally shot trying to cross the Berlin Wall
    He and Gaudian thought that the usual ‘shoot to kill’ orders would be suspended for a state visit by the Swedish prime minister. However, the prime minister had left East Germany before their escape attempt.
    If he had waited nine months, he could have openly walked into West Berlin.
    He is often erroneously called the last person to die trying to cross the Berlin Wall. However, Winfried Freudenberg died one month after him in the crash of a homemade balloon used to cross over the Wall.
    When he refused training to become an officer in the East German army, he was denied admission to college, ending his dream of becoming a pilot (1985).
    He had submitted several requests to be allowed to leave the country and been turned down.
    Gaudian was also shot but survived.
    After German reunification, the guard who shot him was sentenced to three years in prison, but the penalty was reduced on appeal to a suspended sentence of two years.
    A street in Berlin was named after him.

Credit: C. Fishel


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