Günter Litfin

First victim of the Berlin Wall

Günter Litfin (19 January 1937 – 24 August 1961) was a German tailor. He was the second known person to die at the Berlin Wall.

Günter Litfin
Günter Litfin
Günter Litfin
Born(1937-02-19)19 February 1937
Died24 August 1961(1961-08-24) (aged 24)
Cause of deathShot by a guard whilst attempting to leave East Berlin
Body discoveredSpandauer Schifffahrtskanal
52°31′39″N 13°22′25″E / 52.527628°N 13.373685°E / 52.527628; 13.373685 (Site of Günter Litfin memorial)
Resting placeSaint Hedwig Cemetery
52°32′46″N 13°27′38″E / 52.54619°N 13.4605°E / 52.54619; 13.4605 (St. Hedwig Cemetery in Berlin-Weissensee)
MonumentsSandkrugbrücke, Invalidenstraße, Berlin
Known forFirst person to be shot whilst attempting to escape across the Berlin Wall
Political partyChristian Democratic Union

Litfin was the first victim to be killed by East German border troops. He was the first to succumb to gunshot wounds, and was the first male victim.[1]


  1. Christine Brecht: Günter Litfin, in: Die Todesopfer an der Berliner Mauer 1961–1989. Ein biographisches Handbuch. Links, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86153-517-1, p. 37–39.