Wolfgang Hoffmann (Wall victim)

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Wolfgang Hoffmann (born September 1, 1942 in Berlin ; † July 15, 1971 there ) was a victim of the GDR dictatorship .


Former Volkspolizei inspection at Sterndamm 102, in Berlin-Johannisthal

Wolfgang Hoffmann and his older brother Peter grew up with their mother in Berlin-Johannisthal . Her father did not return from WWII. After leaving school, he completed an apprenticeship as a lathe operator and then trained as a toolmaker . Eleven days after the Wall was built , he and a colleague fled to West Berlin on August 24, 1961. The People's Police started investigations against him and a year later they received an arrest warrant for Hoffmann. There is little information about his life in West Berlin.

On July 14, 1971, presumably drunk, he decided to visit his mother in East Berlin. At that time, West Berliners could not enter East Berlin. Nevertheless, Wolfgang Hoffmann tried to cross the Friedrichstrasse station . When he handed over his ID to the border guards, he gave up his plan and tried to evade further control, which failed. He was still wanted and arrested for fleeing the GDR . The authorities took him to the People's Police Inspection in Berlin-Treptow , where he spent the night in a cell. The next morning he was picked up for a forensic investigation at around 8 a.m. In the examination room on the second floor of the building, Wolfgang Hoffmann jumped through the closed window. Seriously injured from the 10-meter jump, he died on the way to the hospital. The People's Police assumed an accident and not a suicide attempt.

The Ministry for State Security decided to keep the incident secret so as not to endanger intra-German relations and upcoming negotiations between the Allies. The employees involved were bound to secrecy and monitored. The death certificate was eliminated and replaced with a fake one. The MfS invented the legend for the mother that Wolfgang Hoffmann committed suicide while under the influence of alcohol. She was not given any details about the circumstances of her death. A disguised MfS employee also repeated the legend to Peter Hoffmann - in the offices of the public prosecutor's office on Littenstrasse - but added that the body had been found in the border area. Until the reunification, Peter Hoffmann assumed that his brother had been shot. When the GDR archives were opened, he learned the real circumstances of his death.

Wolfgang Hoffmann's body was cremated in the Baumschulenweg cemetery crematorium before the family could identify him. The family was only allowed to invite close relatives to the funeral.

Web links

Commons : Wolfgang Hoffmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Wolfgang Hoffmann in the list of the 139 deaths on the Berlin Wall 1961-1989 on chronik-der-mauer.de