Tunnel 29: the story of an escape from East Berlin


Tunnel 29

The True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall 

By Helena Merriman
Published by Hodder & Stoughton/Dist. by Hachette
RRP $34.99 in paperback  |  ISBN 9781529333961

This is the story of Joachim Rudolph, a story that an 80 year old man has recounted to author Helena Merriman in surprisingly meticulous detail.

It’s a story of how he escaped from East Berlin, trapped as other East Germans were, by the cunning overnight plan of Walter Ulbricht to close the border between East and West Berlin in August 1961.

Merriman describes the depressing bleakness of life for East Berliners as families are forced to surrender all contact with their loved ones in West Berlin.

A matter of months after the border is closed, Joachim, together with his good friend Manfred, escape to the west.

Joachim then decides to risk his freedom to help others escape the brutal regime, via a tunnel. A total of 29 people are helped to freedom in the west through his efforts and those of his friends. The NBC film that followed the successful escape brought the desperate plight of the divided city to the world’s attention.

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