The iconic jump west
Hans Konrad Schumann will possibly forever be remembered as the East German border guard who escaped to West Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. (See our post about Bernauer Strasse here)
Born in Saxony, in the South of Germany in 1942, Konrad enlisted in the East German Bereitschaftspolizei (state police). On 15th August 1961, he was posted to the corner of Ruppiner Strasse and Bernauer Strasse. This was day three of the construction of the Berlin Wall.
At this point in time. the wall was marked by barbed wire. As Konrad stood and watched, he thought of escaping. He pushed down the same piece of barbed wire, in order to make his jump easier, whilst waiting for the right time.
Photographer Peter Liebing was watching the events unfold and captured Konrad’s escape. Dieter Hoffmann captured the moments on camera, where you can see Konrad jump and make his way into a nearby West Berlin Police van.
After interrogation Konrad settled in Bavaria where he worked at the Audi car assembly factory Ingolstadt. Konrad suffered over the years with depression ultimately taking his own life on 20th June 1998.
Mauerspringer (“wall jumper”) sculpture by Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders. Originally close to the site of the defection, but has since been moved to the side of a building on Brunnenstrasse.
Bernauer Strasse at Ruppiner Strasse
UBahn line U8 Station Bernauer Strasse
More Berlin information when you click on the image below