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PHOTO: An East German mother passes her baby across the new wall in 1961.


PHOTO An East German mother passes her baby across the new wall in 1961

Source: www.slate.com

Stashed in: History!, Europe

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The original caption to this photograph, kept in the National Archives’ records of the U.S. Information Agency, explains that the father in this little family had been traveling in West Berlin when the first fences of barbed wire between West and East went up. (The wall was built in phases. The East German government began with barbed wire and sentries; over the next few weeks, they reinforced the perimeter with concrete blocks, sentry towers, and minefields.)

The mother and father met at the impromptu fence, and a guard (who may be the figure to the mother’s left) looked the other way while they discussed their situation. When they were sure that the guard wasn’t watching, the mother passed the son to his father.

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