THE TUNNELS
Escapes Under the Berlin Wall

GREG MITCHELL
400pp ILLUS 2016 LIST PRICE: £20.00 HC48

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Description
In the summer of 1962, a group of young West Germans risked prison, Stasi torture and even death to liberate friends, lovers and strangers by digging tunnels under the Berlin Wall. This narrative includes interviews with escapees and the brave individuals who brought scores of refugees to safety, including a legendary cyclist who became East Berlin’s most wanted man; the tunneller who had already served four years in an East German gulag; a woman who escapes with her baby, only to marry one of the tunnellers; and an engineer who later helped build the tunnel under the English Channel. Two US television networks, NBC and CBS, funded two tunnels in return for the right to film the escapes, but President Kennedy, wary of anything that might spark a confrontation with the Soviets, approved unprecedented manoeuvres to quash both documentaries.