Olga Segler decided to jump from the window of her second story apartment on September 24. Her daughter waited down below on the sidewalk, encouraging her to jump. The firemen caught the eighty-year-old woman in their rescue net but she injured her back on impact and had to be taken by ambulance to the nearby Lazarus Hospital. Olga Segler died the next day. Her heart had given out as a consequence of the overexcitement she experienced during the escape.
The East German authorities registered Olga Segler’s escape attempt as a “border breach,” and the official report referred to her successful “flight from the republic.” Believing that the fatally injured old woman had survived, they opened an investigation against her.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Wall, Olga Segler was being publicly mourned. Her funeral was held at the municipal cemetery in Berlin-Reinickendorf. A memorial was dedicated at the site of her fall in November 1961. It resembled the monuments of wood and barbed wire that had been dedicated to Ida Siekmann and Rudolf Urban, both of whom had lived on Bernauer Strasse and lost their lives trying to escape. For years to come, new wreaths and flowers were placed at the monument on memorial days. (...)
Extract from a text by Christine Brecht found in the Berlin Wall Memorial site.
Olga Segler is one of the names included in our photobook Looking for freedom. A publication where Rubén H. Bermúdez, the author, show us stages where the Berlin Wall witnessed the failure of an individual.