Page 227. " Before them was a strip of thirty yards. "

The Death Strip at the Berlin Wall
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Death Strip at the Berlin Wall - Credit: Thierry Noir

The paintings would not have been present in the early 1960s but the bare strip, later to become known as the Death Strip, was.

Page 229. " Finally they shot him, two or three shots. "

The guards on the eastern side of the Berlin Wall were under orders to shoot to kill.  This short timeline of the Wall from 1961 to 1989 shows both successful and unsuccessful attempts to escape:

Victims Monument at Berlin Wall
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeVictims Monument at Berlin Wall
Credit: Magnus Manske

 

Each person killed while trying to escape over the Berlin Wall is represented by a black cross bearing the individual names and photographs.