What happened to the Strelzyk and Wetzel families?
Owing to pressure on them from Stasi spies, the Strelzyks moved to Switzerland in 1985. After the German reunification in 1990, they returned to their hometown of Pößneck and to their old home there. The Wetzels remained in Bavaria.
What happened to those who tried to escape the Berlin Wall?
Well over 100,000 citizens of the GDR tried to escape across the inner-German border or the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1988. More than 600 of them were shot and killed by GDR border guards or died in other ways during their escape attempt.
Is balloon a true story?
Ballon, by German director Michael Bully Herbig, tells the true story of the Strelzyks and the Wetzels, who built their balloon in a cellar in Thuringia. a state in the German Democratic Republic, before flying across the border into Bavaria one chilly night in September 1979.
What was done to those who tried to escape?
Border guards who attempted to escape were treated much more harshly and were on average imprisoned for five years. Those who helped escapees were also subject to punishment, facing prison terms or deportation to internal exile in faraway towns. Some 50,000 East Germans suffered this fate between 1952 and 1989.
Who shot Engels while he was snagged in barbed wire?
The APC did not fully penetrate the Wall, having been stuck halfway on the fortified border, so Engels hurriedly exited the vehicle and was shot twice by East German border-guards while struggling to free himself from the rolls of razor-sharp barbed wire.
What happens in the movie balloon?
Two families attempt a daredevil plan to escape the GDR with a homemade hot air balloon, but it crashes just before the border. The Stasi finds traces of this attempt to escape and immediately starts investigations, while the two families are forced to build a new escape balloon.
Why did Wolfgang Engels escape?
Wolfgang Engels (born 1943) is a former civilian employee of the East German National People’s Army, employed as a car mechanic and driver, who in 1963 used a stolen BTR-152 armoured personnel carrier to escape to West Germany by breaking through the Berlin Wall.
What did Meixner have to do when he went under the barricade?
In the early-morning darkness, Meixner drove to the first barricade on the East Berlin side of the checkpoint. He displayed his passport to the guard, who motioned him on to the customs shed. Instead he gunned the motor, whizzed around the vertical bars and skidded past the startled guard.