Remembering German Victims Of Bulgaria's Iron Curtain

Remembering German victims of Bulgaria's Iron Curtain

Brashten, Bulgaria, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Aug, 2019 ) :Today there is little sign of the border at Brashten, a village nestled in Bulgaria's beautiful Rhodope mountains and only a stone's throw from fellow EU member Greece.

However, 82-year-old resident Shehim Solakov remembers a time when the village was on the frontline of the border that split Europe in two.

Amid the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, some are still struggling to shed light on deadly events on this stretch of that long frontier.

One incident in particular sticks in Solakov's mind -- when two East Germans were shot dead as they attempted to flee to the West by crossing the border.

"They loaded them onto a mule like firewood," Solakov says, referring to the soldiers who later removed the bodies by car to an unknown location.

Historians say the total toll is still not known, but there are 21 documented cases of East Germans being killed while trying to escape via the Bulgarian border, including an incident in 1980 which matches Solakov's recollection.

At least 695 are thought to have made it safely across, with more than 1,500 attempts being foiled.

The last known case resulting in a death was that of 19-year-old Michael Weber, who was shot in July 1989 just weeks before the Iron Curtain crumbled for good.

Your Thoughts and Comments