It was not to be. As the 260-foot tunnel, running about 13 to 16 feet under the current surface, neared completion, the Stasi, East Germany’s feared secret police, intervened. They shut down the tunnel and arrested all of the 21 would-be fugitives.
The tunnel was filled in, abandoned and forgotten, only to be discovered recently when workers at the Mauerpark, a green area near the former buffer zone around the wall, found it during building work.
About 75 tunnels were built under the wall during its three-decade existence, many of them around…