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29 Escape East Berlin Through Tunnel

Sept. 18, 1962 - The West Berlin city government disclosed today that 29 East German men, women, and children escaped to West Berlin through a tunnel (pictured) Friday night. It was the largest group ever to reach West Berlin in a single operation since the East Germans built the wall cutting Berlin in two. Officials said the tunnel was built by Western volunteers who dug for several months. Its entry on the Western side was understood to be near the Bernauerstrasse on the French sector border. The tunnel ran from a basement of a house on the Western side of Bernauerstrasse underneath the street and underneath an East Berlin border house to a narrow East Berlin street named Schönholzerstrasse. The disclosure of the 440-foot tunnel came after rising water last night flooded the escape route and made it unusable.

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