Full Citation

  • Title Reds Reinforce Berlin Wall in Bid to Halt Mass Escapes
  • Author By United Press International
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Friday,  June 15, 1962
  • Issue Number 24701
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
Reds Reinforce Berlin Wall In Bid to Halt Mass Escapes By United Press International BERLIN, June 14.—A Commu¬ nist task force of more than 1,000 men began reinforcing the Berlin wall at gunpoint today in a bid to halt mass escapes. Labor units dug trenches, built breastworks, erected pillboxes and felled trees for a clear field of fire. They were watched by gun- toting soldiers, detailed to prevent any escapes among the workmen. West Berlin police said the Com¬ munists were at work on more than 30 sections of West Berlin’s border with East Berlin and East Germany. At one point alone, they said, more than 200 men were building firing points. The surge of activity followed a week during which at least 45 East Germans are believed to have escaped through tunnels under the wall. Guard Escapes One of the Communist border guards succeeded in escaping to West Berlin today, but two East German youths were captured within sight of West Berlin. The West German newspaper “Die Welt" said 54 refugees es- caped to West Berlin over the Whitsunday week end, but there was no official confirmation of this. The paper said some of the escape tunnels have remained un¬ detected. offering a possible avenue for additional escapes. The new border barricades are designed to give Communist guards protection when they fire at ref¬ ugees and West Berlin police shoot back. West Berlin police have orders to return Communist fire if bullets strike West Berlin terri¬ tory. Thus Western police give refugees covering fire. Install Firing Slits The Communists now have strengthened the border with pill¬ boxes. bunkers, sandbag barricades, earth breastworks—all of them with firing slits. Firing slits have also been built into the bricked-up windows of East Berlin houses overlooking West Berlin. There are more than Communist wooden watchtow- ers on the border.