East German border guards retrieving the body of Günter Litfin from the River Spree, 1961Günter Litfin (19 January 1937 – 24 August 1961) was the second victim at the Berlin Wall, and the first to succumb to gunshots. A tailor from the borough of Weißensee, like his father, he was a member of the illegal local branch of the West German Christian Democrats. Litfin was already working in the West, near the Zoological Garden, and had already found a flat in the western part of the city. Even on August 12th, one day before the first barbed wire fences were built, he had driven to Charlottenburg with his brother, to furnish his new flat. His intention to escape East Germany was abruptly halted the next morning, as road blocks had already been built. Therefore, around 4pm on August 24th, he undertook the escape attempt that would prove fatal to him.

East German border guards retrieving the body of Günter Litfin from the River Spree, 1961
Günter Litfin (19 January 1937 – 24 August 1961) was the second victim at the Berlin Wall, and the first to succumb to gunshots. A tailor from the borough of Weißensee, like his father, he was a member of the illegal local branch of the West German Christian Democrats. Litfin was already working in the West, near the Zoological Garden, and had already found a flat in the western part of the city. Even on August 12th, one day before the first barbed wire fences were built, he had driven to Charlottenburg with his brother, to furnish his new flat. His intention to escape East Germany was abruptly halted the next morning, as road blocks had already been built. Therefore, around 4pm on August 24th, he undertook the escape attempt that would prove fatal to him.