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East Germans Concerned Over Rise in Escapes

Apr. 29, 1963 - East German officials expressed concern today over the increasing number of attempts to escape to the West after four young East Germans crashed an army truck into the Communist-built border wall last night and fled. The four were uninjured, although East German border guards fired several shots. Four other East Germans scaled the wall last night in less dramatic fashion and also reached West Berlin unharmed. East German officials told Western visitors they feared such incidents would increase. Their misgivings were based on growing discontent among the working population, due largely to wage cuts, difficult living conditions, and the regime’s pressure to increase industrial production. East German border guards, accompanied by an armored personnel carriers and equipped with a water cannon, stood by this morning as workmen closed the gap in the wall on Leuschner Damm in downtown Berlin, where the four young men had crashed a five-ton army truck. The truck had stuck in the three-foot wall, and an army unit later towed it back into East Berlin.


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