Escaping the Berlin Wall in a Trojan Cow

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Escaping the Berlin Wall in a Trojan Cow

People escaped the Berlin Wall in many ways. They simply climbed over the Wall, swam through the river Spree or Havel, built tunnels or balloons. And some were very inventive. They hid in a hollow cow, like the Greeks did so many centuries ago with a hollow horse, to get into the city of Troy. But now, the cow was used to smuggle people into West Berlin.


Hollow horse

Everybody knows the story of the Greek heroes who hid inside a huge horse to get into the city of Troy. The walls of Troy were impossible to get over, so the Greeks had to be smart. They build a huge hollow horse and sneaked inside. The Trojan people saw Greek ships sailing away and thought they had won the war. They celebrated their victory be pulling in the magnificent horse as a victory trophy. When the Trojans were sound asleep, the Greeks came out of the hollow horse and beat the Trojans.

Hiding inside a cow to get past the Berlin Wall

Berlin also had a Wall that was impossible to get over. The concrete with barbed wire, watchtowers and guards made it almost impossible to cross. So two Berliners came up with the idea of a Trojan cow. The animal was hollow and one person could hide inside. They drove to East Berlin, hid the escapee inside and drove to West Berlin again.

Fiancee inside a hollow cow

On July 7, 1969 the two Berliners helped another escapee inside their Trojan cow. An 18 year old girl from Karl Marx Stadt (now called Chemnitz) wanted to live in West Berlin with her fiancee, who was already living on the other side of the border. Her fiancee paid the two men 5000 German Marks to get his love to the other side of the Berlin Wall.

Trojan Trick

But the Trojan trick no longer worked. Two people were able to escape to West Berlin by hiding in the cow, but the girl is discovered. The boarder guards were getting suspicious when they saw the cow moving from East to West Berlin for the third time. The three of them are put under arrest. The two men have to stay in prison for more than three years. The girl gets a three years and ten months sentence. But after four months in prison, the West German government pays her free so she can live with her fiancee in West Berlin.

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