The Fall of the Wall
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Trials of Marksmen on the Border

A whole series of trials, in the meantime the number has climbed to over 60, where former soldiers of the border and their commanding officers have been accused of the shots they fired on the inner-German border. Most of those found guilty, by autumn 1997 it was just under 60 were given sentences on probation. In the so-called Honecker trial, the Secretary-General Erich Honecker, the head of the Stasi Erich Mielke and the Prime Minister Willi Stoph were accused of 13 cases of manslaughter, the Defence Secretary Heinz Keßler was accused of 10 cases of manslaughter and his Deputy Fritz Streletz as well as the District Chief of Suhl, Hans Albrecht, were accused of 9 cases of manslaughter.

After the trials against Stoph and Honecker were suspended and the trial against Mielke was separated from the remaining accused, Keßler in 1993 received custodial a sentence of 7 ½ years, Streletz of 5 ½ years and Albrecht of 5 years. In the following years other commanding officers were also given custodial sentences of between 6 ½ and under 2 years. In the so-called Politbüro Trial, members of the Plitbüro also received custodial sentences in connection with the fatal shootings at the Wall and the inner-German border.

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