Commemorative Marker for Heinz Cyrus

Gedenkzeichen auf dem Bürgersteig

© Stiftung Berliner Mauer, Gesa Simons

Seven people lost their lives on Bernauer Strasse while trying to get through the border fortifications. They were either shot by border guards or died after jumping from buildings on the border. All these deaths occurred in the 1960s. Commemorative markers on the memorial grounds recall their fate and tell their story at the site of their escape. This column is dedicated to Heinz Cyrus, who was fatally injured in an escape attempt. Seven other commemorative markers are presented on the grounds of the memorial. 

Heinz Cyrus, who was just about to turn 30, had already had several run-ins with the East German authorities and been imprisoned for political offenses. Threatened once again with prison, he decided to flee on November 10, 1965. He crawled towards the barriers near Nordbahnhof station and tried to climb the Wall near Gartenstrasse. After he was discovered by a guard dog, border guards began firing at him from three sides. He fled unharmed into the house at Gartenstrasse 85. The border soldiers followed him and began to search the building. The young man fled from floor to floor as his situation became increasingly hopeless. Finally, in desperation, he climbed out the hallway window on the 4th floor, clung to the gutter, lost his grip and fell into the courtyard. At around 9:30 pm, he was taken to the People's Police Hospital in Berlin-Mitte with a fractured skull and numerous broken bones. He underwent emergency surgery there that same night, but succumbed to his injuries in the morning.