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Barrier Foils Bid by East Germans to Drive to Freedom

November 24, 1987|Associated Press

HELMSTEDT, West Germany — Two men tried to crash through East German border barriers in an attempt to escape to the West, but the steel bars tore off the top of their car and flipped it on its side, West German police said Monday.

One Western witness told police he saw East German border troops remove two "lifeless-appearing bodies" from the car after the crash Saturday.

The East German and West German border checkpoints are more than 1 1/2 miles apart at Helmstedt and are not in sight of each other. The Helmstedt crossing is about 54 miles east of Hanover.

Police, citing the witnesses, said the two were driving a Soviet-made Lada automobile and were directed by East German guards to park in a waiting area.

The men ignored the order and drove off at a high speed, crashing into two metal barriers blocking the route into West Germany.

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