Good to see somebody not following orders…
This is a photograph of an East German soldier helping a little boy cross the newly erected Berlin Wall the day it was built. A boy who’d gotten left behind in the chaos of people fleeing and families caught on different sides of the border. The soldier is young, and his eyes, looking warily over his shoulder, are full of fear. And yet, he persisted.
Despite being given orders by the East German government to let no one pass into East Berlin, the soldier helped the boy sneak through the barbwire. It was reported that the soldier was caught doing this benevolent deed by his superior officer, who removed the soldier from his unit. Hopefully, his punishment was minor and he wasn’t imprisoned or shot. Descriptions of this photo come with the caveat that “no one knows what became of him”.
But how did this little boy end up on the opposite side of the wall from his parents? According to Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin, one of the boy’s parents, his father, was with the boy in West Germany visiting relatives while the rest of the boy’s family was at home in the East.