|Normal||Number of participants*|
|> 3||> 5||> 10|
|* only in the case of simultaneous registration - no subsequent group discounts possible, not in conjunction with other discounts|
Excursion on 20 May 2022 - 50.00 € extra
Berliner Unterwelten e. V., Tour M - "Underground to Freedom"
Tunnel escapes under the Berlin Wall
After the SED regime erected the Berlin Wall in August 1961, there were repeated attempts to cross under the deadly barriers by means of self-dug escape tunnels and thus reach freedom. The first tunnel project "ran" in October 1961, the last one failed in 1982. In total, there were more than 70 escape tunnel projects actually started, but only 19 of them were successful. Through them, however, more than 300 GDR citizens managed to escape from East to West Berlin.
There were spectacular successes, betrayals and bitter failures. Soon, a veritable "cat-and-mouse game" developed between tunnel builders and the GDR State Security, under increasingly difficult conditions for those helping and wanting to escape. In this two-hour tour, we go to a key site of the events: Bernauer Strasse, a focal point of the Wall's construction and a hotbed of escape tunnel operations. Over a distance of only 350 meters, the border fortifications were tunneled under here seven times. The particularly low groundwater level here made it possible to build escape tunnels at great depths.
After an introduction to the topic, we first visit authentic above-ground sites of spectacular escape tunnel projects. Then we go underground: in the historic vaults of the former Oswald-Berliner brewery, where we use full-scale tunnel replicas to recount both foiled and failed tunnel projects as well as the two most successful escape missions from the time of the Berlin Wall: "Tunnel 29" and "Tunnel 57". As a new highlight, an original escape tunnel from 1970/71 has been on display since November 2019 - eight meters below the surface. This is accessed by a by a 30-meter-long visitor tunnel, which was built by Berliner Unterwelten e.V. in a one-and-a-half-year construction period. It is the only real escape tunnel that can still be visited today.