Jörgen Schmidtchen - Jörgen Schmidtchen

Jörgen Schmidtchen (born June 28, 1941 in Leipzig , † April 18, 1962 in Potsdam ) was a private of the border troops of the GDR who was killed while on duty. He was the first border soldier to die after the Wall was built.


Jörgen Schmidtchen was born in Leipzig and grew up there. After finishing school, he did an apprenticeship as a galvanizer at VEB Galvanotechnik Leipzig . Then he went to Ludwigsfelde and worked as a skilled worker in VEB Industriewerk Ludwigsfelde, where he was recognized as a young activist. When he was 19 years old, he signed up for service with the German border police and was stationed with a unit of the riot police in the south of Berlin on the border between West Berlin and Potsdam.

Circumstances of death

Jörgen Schmidtchen was found on the night of April 18, 1962 around 2.25 a.m. on the tracks at the disused Gleisdreieck Griebnitzsee on the border with the West Berlin location Kohlhasenbrück on the outer ring, the border between West Berlin and the GDR, between Potsdam-Babelsberg and Berlin- Zehlendorf shot.

According to the official GDR propaganda, he was "murdered by agents while preventing an armed border breach". [1] In fact, when the two officer students of the NVA- Flakartillerie-Schule Stahnsdorf , Peter Böhme and Wolfgang Gundel, attempted to flee to the West, an exchange of fire in which Jörgen Schmidtchen and the fleeing Peter Böhme were fatally wounded. Jörgen Schmidtchen was shot with the gun of 19-year-old Peter Böhme. When the other border post then returned fire, there was an exchange of fire in which Peter Böhme was killed. Wolfgang Gundel escaped to West Berlin. [2]A later investigation revealed that the post leader Jörgen Schmidtchen had behaved carelessly, since he had left his position and ran towards them, assuming that the two uniformed men were a border patrol. However, this should not be made public. So he was posthumously promoted to NCO [3] for “exemplary fulfillment of duties in securing the state border” and his parents received a one-time grant of 500 marks. Jörgen Schmidtchen was buried with full military honors in the Leipzig-Schönefeld cemetery.


In the GDR, Jörgen Schmidtchen was stylized as a martyr. According to the official account, he had sacrificed his life in the service of peace and the fatherland. That is why public institutions and streets were given his name, such as the 33rd Polytechnic High School in Potsdam, a youth club in Leipzig-Schönefeld or the company vocational school of his former training company VEB Galvanotechnik. In addition, on December 3, 1986, a new street in Leipzig was named “Jörgen-Schmidtchen-Weg”.



Commons : Jörgen Schmidtchen - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Archives , VA-07/6008, p. 358: List of the NVA (Stadtkommandantur Berlin, Operativ department) on "border soldiers murdered or injured by West Berlin bandits" from September 9, 1966
  2. ^ Report of the East Berlin riot police on the shooting of Jörgen Schmidtchen on April 18, 1962 in Chronicle of the Wall
  3. Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office, Az. 2 Js 150/90, Bd. 3, Bl. 111: Order No. 43/62 of the Ministry of the Interior (Riot Police Command) for promotion and awards from the riot police of April 19, 1962