Peter Goering

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Large-format propaganda photo on the front page of the SED central organ New Germany on Peter Göring's death: "Murder attack of the Frontstadt-OAS". The dead man lying on his face was turned over for the photo

Peter Göring (born December 28, 1940 in Dresden ; † May 23, 1962 in Berlin ) was a member of the GDR border troops . He was fatally hit by a West Berlin police officer who returned fire from GDR border guards who were shooting at West Berlin territory in order to “destroy” 14-year-old refugee Wilfried Tews .

Circumstances of death

Göring, a trained casting cleaner , joined the German Border Police , which was part of the People's Police, in 1960 at the age of 19 . On May 23, 1962, he and his post leader were on duty in Berlin near the Invalidenfriedhof on the Berlin-Spandau shipping canal , the opposite bank of which formed the border. At around 5:35 p.m., the 14-year-old student Wilfried Tew, who was on the run, was noticed when, after overcoming two walls between the property adjacent to the Invalidenfriedhof and the canal, he was already swimming in the water of the 22-meter-wide canal. He was in sight of two strips, a post on an observation tower about 200 meters away and the post on the Sandkrug Bridge about 300 meters away . After firing warning shots, up to eight of the GDR border guards targeted the boy swimming in the water in order to destroy him as ordered.

When he then drifted motionless in the water towards the west bank, they shot him again because they “could not tell whether he was deceiving”. The GDR's military and judicial files kept under lock and key show that Göring, despite an express order from his post leader, left his watchtower to get into a favorable firing position and then violated valid firearms usage regulations twice by using his weapon against a child and in shot west. From Göring's Kalashnikov , who was closest to the fugitive and was on the same level as him between the two walls, came 44 of the total of at least 121 shots fired by the GDR border guards.

Some of the shots in the second bombardment hit West Berlin area and threatened a patrol of the West Berlin police who wanted to pull the fleeing youth out of the water. He had meanwhile headed for the only staircase in the vertical canal wall within a radius of 100 meters. The West Berlin police returned fire. Goering, directly opposite them, was hit by three projectiles: bullets in the right index finger and left shoulder from the front and a deadly bullet in the left kidney region from behind. As forensic investigations in East Berlin showed the fatal injury had a ricochet causes that had previously bounced off one of the walls. Goering died on the spot. Another was shot through the thigh. Tews, hit by eight shots, was rescued from the stairs by West Berlin police officers and survived with serious injuries that made him an invalid.

GDR propaganda

Göring was the first border guard in the GDR to die on the Berlin Wall when the West Berlin police were shot. In the propaganda of the GDR his death was described as murder and a connection with the French terrorist organization Organization de l'armée secrète (OAS) was invented. Göring was posthumously promoted to sergeant and transfigured as a hero. A bronze commemorative plaque was erected for him, which was dismantled after 1993. In the GDR schools, streets, the cycling department of SG Dynamo Frankfurt (Oder) and pioneer groups were named after him. His grave in the cemetery in Glashütte was a place of solemn ceremonies in the GDR.

Case of Peter Göring after reunification

Twelve years after reunification , three of the former border guards involved were tried before the Berlin district court from May 28 to June 14, 2002 for attempted manslaughter . The court acquitted the defendants, as neither the intent to kill nor the firing of the exact shots that hit Tews could be proven. It also found that Göring may have caused all of the hits.

The Brandenburg city ​​of Strausberg , where the GDR Ministry of National Defense was located, honored Peter Göring by naming a street. Repeated attempts to rename the city failed because of the majority in the city council. In Seelingstädt, the military training facility of the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education of the GDR was named after Peter Göring.

Web links

Commons : Peter Göring  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Hermann Hertle : Border violators are to be arrested or destroyed . In: From Politics and Contemporary History (APuZ), 31–34 / 2011. Published on the Internet by the Federal Agency for Civic Education .
  2. ^ Art on the way
  3. ^ Kerstin Gehrke: GDR border soldiers in court . In: Der Tagesspiegel , May 29, 2002
  4. Kerstin Gehrke: Shots at GDR pupils go unpunished: judges had "final doubts" about guilt . In: Der Tagesspiegel, June 15, 2002
  5. ^ Information from the Märkische Oderzeitung (MOZ) dated December 3, 2014