Photo. Refugees waiting to be admitted to the Marienfelde Refugee Center, August 14, 1961
© DHM-Schirner

September 2012

Photo of Barbara H. with her son after her flight 1977 in their new apartment in West Berlin (ENM 000294)

Photo of Barbara H. with her son after her flight 1977
Paediatric nurse Barbara H. decided to leave the GDR with her nine-year-old son. Spontaneously, she planned with her boyfriend from West Berlin, to flee via the transit route. They decided to take this step for political and professional reasons as well as for love. In a wooded area near the motorway, the mother and son climbed into the boot of a beat-up Ford. Miraculously, the car was not inspected at the border. They, like 1.4 million other refugees, passed through the Marienfelde Refugee Centre in West Berlin. Barbara H. found a small apartment, but no job because her qualifications were not immediately recognized. Eventually, she worked as a teacher in a kindergarten.