Mauer, Lyon | Snap-Projects, Lyon 2014 |
from 11 janvier to 01 mars 2014

A wall of bricks is on the ground. It is the exact horizontal projection of one of the walls, like its shadow. It becomes a landscape. On the ground, an article tells the tragic story of the Berlin wall's last victim.
with the support of the Région Rhône-Alpes, the Institut Français/Ville de Lyon, Wienerberger
and La Tribune de Lyon
« Winfried Freudenberg was born on August 29, 1956. He then studied information technology in Ilmenau and graduated with an electrical engineering degree. He met the chemistry student Sabine W. in a student club. The young couple married in the fall of 1988 but soon recognized that few career prospects awaited them in East Germany. The two young adults were no longer willing to accept that the state denied them the opportunity to "travel, attend conferences, conduct research and have contact with people in the western countries", Sabine Freudenberg explained later.
Right after the wedding the couple began planning their escape with a gas balloon. To obtain the necessary natural gas needed for the balloon, Winfried took a job at an energy combine in the gas supply department and moved with his wife to an apartment in the East Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg. The couple bought small, inconspicuous amounts of polyethylene sheets, a material commonly used for cold-frame windows and for tents. The Freudenbergs began assembling a balloon, 13 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, in their apartment. On the evening of March 7, they packed the balloon and drove to a Berlin gas supply control station in the north of Berlin. Winfried had a key to the facility that he needed for his job. Just before midnight he began tapping gas from the station and lling the balloon with natural
gas. The balloon slowly began to fill up, and a good hour later was clearly visible in the dark.
The flight with the balloon probably would have succeeded if it had not been for a young worker who was working as a part-time waiter. He had just gotten to work at 1:30 in the morning when he called to notify the East German police. It was just past 2 a.m. when a police car slowed down in front of the grounds of the control station. Fearing that the balloon did not yet have enough gas to carry two people, they decided
that Winfried Freudenberg should take off by himself. He cut the tether cables and rose up into the night sky. Shortly after launching, the ballast bags rubbed against a high-voltage cable striking sparks and causing a blackout in the neighboring garden settlement. The hasty take-off had unexpected consequences. Without the weight of his wife, Winfried Freudenberg rose much faster and higher than he had intended. A reconstruction of his ight route concluded that he ew over the border to West Berlin unnoticed at 20 kilometers an hour and arrived at the Tegel air field where he probably tried to land. Over Tegel he got caught in a northern current, and evidence suggests that he had reached an altitude of at least 2000 meters since that was the height at which this other wind direction was noticeable. Winfried Freudenberg had calculated that the flight would take a good half hour, instead he was alo for many hours. Floating at great heights and in freezing temperatures.

At approximately 7:30 in the morning, Winfried Freudenberg flew over the West Berlin district of Zehlendorf.
Winfried Freudenberg crashed down into the garden of a villa just a few hundred meters away. He died immediately. Sabine Freudenberg was arrested and interrogated. She was charged with "attempting to breach the border".
She received amnesty on October 27, 1989. »

according to the article written by Hans-Hermann Hertle and Maria Nooke u.a., Die Todesopfer an der Berliner Mauer 1961-1989,