World: The Ransomed

The escape plan was simple but to the point—Heinrich-Heine-Strasse Checkpoint, that is. Winfried Zippel, 20, an East Berlin mason and truck driver by profession, would steal a construction truck. Then he and his pal, Heinz Trochim, 21, a machinist, would crash the Wall to freedom. It being a warm summer night, the cocky pair tanked up on beer before setting out. The celebration was premature: before they had driven a single block, a pair of East German S.S.D. (State Security) cars squealed to a halt in front of them, and a clutch of cops...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!