GERMANY No Exit for Ex-Leaders

GERMANY No Exit for Ex-Leaders

From 1961, when the Berlin Wall went up, until it tumbled down in November 1989, more than 190 East Germans were killed trying to escape. When Heinz Kessler, former Defense Minister of the now defunct communist regime, planned to flee to the Soviet Union last week, however, he was merely arrested, along with former Prime Minister Willi Stoph and two other ex-leaders, Fritz Streletz and Hans Albrecht.

The contrast was ironic. As members of East Germany's National Defense Council, its highest security agency, the four had approved a 1974 order requiring guards to shoot to kill anyone crossing the border to...

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