The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill

Written by Greg Mitchell
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

The birth of the Berlin Wall is well-known, and the fall of The Berlin Wall is equally well documented. What hasn’t been really looked at are the desperate escapes from East to West Germany, most notably the tunnels dug largely from East to West but also from West to East. This book looks at the astounding story of the Berlin Wall tunnels: dug by brave amateurs for an ideal, exploited by American TV news crews and constantly under threat from East German army officers and secret police informers. It involves the stories of a famous cyclist, a “tunneller” who had already served time in a Gulag, a brave young woman who, at the last minute, acted as a spy and a Stasi informer of long success.

Using contemporary accounts, records and also official White House transcripts, this book opens up a hidden history to the light; at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy tried to control press reports surrounding the Berlin Wall, including a groundbreaking documentary shot in secrecy, recording the most successful tunnel escape in the Cold War Berlin milieu.