Fate of ddr border victims is being researched

Fate of ddr border victims is being researched

The research project, which started in berlin on friday, also aims to clarify the number of GDR refugees who died between 1949 and 1989. It is not yet known how many people lost their lives along the inner german border.

The dead should be given a face and was restored, said bernd neumann (CDU), minister of state for culture, shortly before the 51st anniversary. Anniversary of the construction of the wall of 13. August 1961. At present, only the number of victims of the SED regime at the berlin wall has been scientifically recorded. According to this, at least 136 people died between 1961 and 1989. For years, there had been calls for research into the total number of victims.

Different institutions quote different figures. The head of the research association SED state at the free university of berlin, klaus schroeder, who is leading the investigation, spoke of 500 to 700 suspected deaths along the almost 1,400-kilometer-long inner german border.

The dead will now be honored with a book of the dead starting in 2016. Their biographies "will remind us of how brutally the SED dictatorship and the inhumane border regime affected the people of germany," neumann emphasized at the berlin wall memorial. The findings of the project are to be incorporated into school lessons, for example.

The federal government and the states of saxony-anhalt, lower saxony and hesse are calling for the project to be funded to the tune of half a million euros. Neumann regrets that majority of federal states do not participate. "It’s a national task to come to terms with one’s own past."The research is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

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