What is the greatest tragedy in life?

"The greatest tragedy of my life"

(22.11.2015) Falko Vogt describes November 22nd as "one of the happiest and most unhappy days of my life". 35 years ago he and his girlfriend Marienetta "Micki" Jirkowsky and her friend Peter W. tried to escape from the GDR to West Berlin in the area of ​​today's Florastraße. While the young men managed to escape, 18-year-old Marienetta Jirkowsky was shot by the alarmed border guards and died a few hours later from her fatal injuries. "It is the greatest tragedy of my life that Micki did not leave Hohen Neuendorf alive", Vogt concluded his memory of that night in his speech.

On the occasion of a memorial event for the young victim of the Berlin Wall, Falko Vogt (photo: center), Deputy Director of the Berlin Wall Foundation, Dr. Maria Nooke, and Mayor Klaus-Dieter Hartung put down two wreaths on the square named after Marienetta Jirkowsky at the intersection of Berliner and Stolper Straße.

"For the younger generation, who grew up in peace, the fate of Marienetta Jirkowsky is difficult to understand from the memories of the adults," explained Mayor Hartung. He was happy about the educational work of the Rosenthal high school, the children and youth center "Wasserwerk" and the Marie-Curie-Gymnasium, which took part in the memorial event, including with musical contributions. Hartung thanked Marian Przybilla, the Berlin Wall Foundation and the Center for Contemporary History for coming to terms with the fate of Marienetta Jirkowksy.

"At least 138 people were killed on the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1989," recalled Maria Nooke. For each of these victims of the Wall, the Berlin Wall Foundation and the Center for Contemporary Historical Research set up an orange-colored memorial stele near the respective place of escape.
The stele for Marienetta Jirkowsky is at the end of Florastraße in Hohen Neuendorf. Maria Nooke also remembered the young men Joachim Mehr († 1964), Will Born († 1970) and Rolf-Dieter Kabelitz († 1971), who also dared to flee the GDR in the Hohen Neuendorfer border area and paid with their lives.

With a minute's silence, those present at the event remembered not only Marienetta Jirkowsky, but all victims of the Wall.