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Susanne Buddenberg / Thomas Henseler



The comic book “Berlin – A City Divided” is based on actual events.

With the support of The Federal Foundation for the Reappraisel of the SED Dictatorship

Scenario and gray tones: Susanne Buddenberg Scenario and drawings: Thomas Henseler Zoom und Tinte Buddenberg und Henseler GbR Editor: Markus Pieper Historical texts: Dr. Christian Halbrock Historical consultant: Dr. Maria Nooke – Berlin Wall Memorial English translation: Rick Minnich Typesetting and graphic design: Andreas Rupprecht Photos 1986/1987: Detlef Matthes Photos 2012: Anna Schmelz Publisher: Johann Ulrich avant-verlag / Rodenbergstrasse 9 / 10439 Berlin ISBN 978-3-939080-75-6 First edition All rights reserved Find out more about our books and how to order them at

Table of Contents Regina Zywietz: How the Wall Nearly Put an End to My High School Career — 7 Ursula Malchow: The Hospital by the Wall — 25 THE Holzapfel FAMILY: Ziplining over the Wall — 41 Detlef Matthes: The Other Side — 59 Jan Hildebrandt: My 18th Birthday — 79

S-Bahn ticket to West Berlin from August 16, 1961

regina zywietz: How the Wall Nearly Put an End to My High School Career East Berlin, Friedrichstrasse Railway Station, August 16, 1961

[Banner on train station: Neues Deutschland proclaims: A Dark Day for Warmongers]

But the borders have been closed for the past 4 days.

regina Zywietz (19). The East Berliner goes to high school in the West and will be taking her finals soon.

Meeting my teachers who want to help me flee to West Berlin. dr. wellmer

mr. m端nzel 7

dr. rintelen

bullet 7.62 x 39 mm caliber

ursula malchow: The Hospital by the Wall

west berlin, late-summer 1961: The Lazarus Hospital at bernauer strasse 114-118

We’ve been living and working here since 1958.

My husband GĂœNTER works as a male nurse.

I bring the patients their meals.


We live with our children on the mezzanine floor next to the emergency room.

Across the street begins East Berlin, another country, the GDR. pital lazarus Hos

asse bernauer str h cemetery sophien paris


Whenever we notice people fleeing, we try to act normal so the border guards don’t become suspicious.

The buildings there belong to the East. The exits to the West are being sealed off one by one.


Time and time again people desperately try to escape into the West. Some flee over the rooftops, the border guards in hot pursuit.

GDR border guards try to pull others back up into the East while West Berliners try to pull them down into the West. The West Berlin police try to protect those on the run.

Some escapees rappel on bed sheets tied together.

Others jump into the fire department’s rescue nets.

The sheets often tear ‌


Handmade pulley with shoulder strap

The Holzapfel Family: Ziplining over the Wall st ra sse



leip zige r


h wo e t gro

r l-st

e ass

east berlin, House of Ministries: The GDR was founded here in 1949.

July 28, 1965: Leipziger Strasse, Employee entrance

heinz holzapfel from Leipzig

The 34-year-old industrial economist and production scheduler is here for a bi-monthly meeting. He has lost his faith in socialism.


“Exa 1b” model from VEB Certo Kamerawerk Dresden

detlef matthes: The Other Side

east berlin, summer 1976 My father is playing tour guide for our visitors from the West.

Here you can see some representative architecture from the past two centuries: the Berlin Cathedral, which is now being re-built and …

… the new landmark of East Berlin - the recently opened “Palace of the Republic.”


The family strolls along the boulevard “Unter den Linden.”

Here’s the magnificent embassy of the USSR.

Dad …

… what’s that white thing over there?



That’s the Wall.

What’s West Berlin?

Yes, and behind it is West Berlin.

The other part of Berlin.

The Wall?

The “other part” of Berlin was terra incognita for me. Our maps showed it as undeveloped territory.


A chunk of the Berlin Wall

jan hildebrandt: My 18th Birthday

East Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 3, November 9, 1989 My sister ELSKE

My best friend frank

My mother regine

It wasn’t even 8 o’clock yet and my 18th birthday was already over.

I’ll be in my room.

Put it over there. I’ll take care of it. 79

The Authors

Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler studied design at the Fachhochschule Aachen and film at the Hochschule fĂźr Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolfâ€? in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Upon completing their studies, they founded the company Zoom und Tinte Buddenberg und Henseler GbR, which specializes in film and illustration. Together they work in the fields of comics, illustration and storyboarding for film productions, television stations and advertising and event agencies. They also teach game design.


BERLIN – A City Divided Chronicles For 28 years, the Berlin Wall divided the city and tore apart friends and family. Comic book artists Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler interviewed contemporary witnesses and recorded their stories. Five authentic tales bring to life a past which, although not far away, seems hardly imaginable now: A young woman tries to leave East Germany with a fake ID card. A refugee is shot on the border, and no one can come to his rescue. An entire family hides in an East German government building near the Wall, hoping to flee from here into the West. A young man covertly photographs the border fortifications and falls into the clutches of the secret police. An East Berlin student ventures into West Berlin and experiences the party of a lifetime. “BERLIN – A City Divided” also takes us to the original locations of the stories: Friedrichstrasse Station, Bernauer Strasse, Wilhelmstrasse, the Brandenburg Gate, and the former border crossing in the Bornholmer Strasse, where readers can search for remnants of the dramatic events.

BERLIN – A City Divided  

Leseprobe aus dem avant-verlag

BERLIN – A City Divided  

Leseprobe aus dem avant-verlag