‘Over The Wall’ by Ethan Robertson, Year 9

Today is March 19, 1960, and I am finally ready to pass that dreadful wall; it will be the first time I leave my hometown of Helmstedt, where a Soviet border lay in ruins. On this day, I am the first of many to attempt to cross the border between Soviet-occupied eastern Germany and American-owned western Germany; this has been attempted many times before me, and I hope it is not the last.

The tension between the two sides has been hostile at best, and outright genocide at worst, in recent days. Defectors from the east have been welcomed into west Germany, but the Soviets have not been so eager, as they have been setting traps and a second fence about a hundred yards from the actual Berlin wall that has been standing there for so long, with hundreds of sleep-deprived and starving Soviet men marching from left to right their boots falling apart from tripping.

This is the night we go over the wall; I’ve been studying the patterns of the stumbling Soviet men and their food-deprived dogs, and I’ve noticed that at 03:50 most of the east side of the wall is clear. Although trying not to get shot by the west is an entirely different problem in and of itself, and that’s assuming I get past all the Soviet defences. Those defences┬áconsist of an electrified fence with alarms, tank traps, spikes, and observation towers.

There is no worse sensation than being compelled to labour for poor pay in the Eastern Bloc and then scheming your escape through the night. My family will miss me, and I have promised them that I will get them through unharmed and safe; this is my only chance to provide a prosperous future for both my family and me, where we will not have to waste away in the Soviet Eastern Bloc, listening to the life we could be having over our decaying radio.

This is my narrative; I wish you well in your defection from the Eastern Bloc to the Western Bloc.