New GDR escape tunnel discovered in Berlin

New GDR escape tunnel discovered in Berlin

A Berlin housing company has announced that their workers recently discovered an escape tunnel near the Bernauer Straße section of the former Berlin Wall.

Builders discover Berlin escape tunnel

Construction staff working at a building site on Berlin’s Bernauer Straße have made a new historical discovery: a 50-centimetre wide and 70-centimetre high escape tunnel from the GDR period.

The tunnel is around 13 meters long and lies beneath Bernauer Straße 26, a street which lies between the Mitte and Wedding neighbourhoods and is famous for having been divided when the Berlin Wall was erected in the wee hours of August 13, 1961. 

During the city’s division, many Berliners used the location as a possible escape route, including the first-known casualty of attempted escape, Ida Siekmann, who died jumping from the window of her third-floor flat which faced West Berlin.

Bernauer Straße tunnel given monumental status

Once archaeologists had visited the site, the tunnel was filled with liquid soil so that construction work could resume. The liquid soil can be removed in the future should the tunnel ignite further historical curiosity.

The tunnel has now been given status as a monument by the German city.

Thumb image credit: pitsch22 /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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