At one minute past midnight, the alarm went off at Check-point Four. Sergeant Rudi Thurow scrambled in to his uniform and awakened his troops. Ten minutes later, they assembled before Lieutenant Witz, their company commander. Witz repeated what he'd just been told by his Soviet Army superiors. "A bolt is being slammed in the door," he announced, "to stop the 83 espionage and terror centers in West Berlin from draining our country of its best manpower. Then he explained: Their unit, part of the East German Army Border Guards, would be joined by 40,000 other troops in sealing the border between West and East Berlin. Barbed wire and other barricades were being put up; soon a wall would be built between the two halves of the city. A soldier standing next to Sergeant Thurow muttered. "Will the Western Allies stand for that'?"
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