Postcard from... Berlin
In one corner of the now multi-ethnic Neukölln district, the air is forever thick with the pungent whiff of freshly roasted coffee beans.
The odour emanates from a Jacobs Kaffee processing factory. Twenty-five years ago East Berliners Chris Gueffroy and Christian Gaudian used that self-same coffee smell issuing from what was then West Berlin’s coffee plant to guide them to a point at the Berlin Wall from where they had planned to escape to the West.
The date was 5 February, 1989. Gueffroy was only 20. He worked as a waiter at East Berlin’s Schönefeld airport where he acquired a yen to see the world. The generous hard currency tips he was given by western passengers meant he was earning as much as an East German surgeon. He wanted to see San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge.
But when he threw his rope and grappling hook over the Wall that night, he failed to notice that he had set off a trip-wire alarm.
Gueffroy and Gaudian were blinded by the searchlights of East Germany’s border guards. They ran across no man’s land towards the second section of wall, which was the last barrier before West Berlin.
Twenty-two shots rang out. Gaudian was wounded in the leg, but Gueffroy was hit in the heart and died instantly.
He was the last person to be killed at the Berlin Wall. Nine months later it fell. These days the Jacobs Kaffee factory is on the route to Schönefeld airport, but it’s hard not to think of the Berlin Wall when you smell it.
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...