EAST-WEST: Life Along the Death Strip

An 856-mile German frontier of guns, mines and attack dogs

While the labor crisis in Poland was making headlines nearly everywhere else in the world, the nervous Communist regime in neighboring East Germany pointedly minimized the news in its state-controlled press. At the same time, observers along East Germany's border with West Germany noted signs of stepped-up security, presumably to prevent the escape of any East Germans who might be infected by the unrest in Poland.

Today, more than ever, that border is a formidable and repelling obstacle, marked by a heavily fortified...

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