Germany: From Heroes To Infamy

From Heroes To Infamy

For the 1989 shooting of Chris Gueffroy, believed to be the last person killed while trying to flee East Germany, the border guards responsible were decorated, given bonuses, extra vacation days and a celebratory meal. Last week the four were put on trial in Berlin, charged with manslaughter. The proceedings are the first of their kind, and getting convictions will be no small task. The accused, say their attorneys, citing the Nuremberg defense, were just following orders.

The trial has come under fire for focusing on the small fry while those responsible for the shoot-to-kill command have escaped justice. Former East...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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