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Guards on trial for notorious Berlin Wall shooting

Berlin map

March 3, 1997
Web posted at: 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT)

BERLIN (CNN) -- Two former East German security border guards went on trial Monday, charged with a 1962 shooting at the Berlin Wall that shocked the world.

Rolf Friedrich and Erich Schreiber are charged in the shooting of 17-year-old Peter Fechter as he tried to escape from East Berlin. The incident occurred just a year after the communists constructed the wall. Fechter lay in the no-man's land between the two sides for nearly hour, screaming for help, before he bled to death. Hundreds of people on the western side shouted "murderers, murderers" at the guards.

Friedrich and Schreiber face manslaughter charges for Fechter's death, and attempted manslaughter charges for allegedly shooting Fechter's friend Helmut Kulbeik, who successfully escaped.

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