On 17 August 1962, almost exactly one year after the construction of the Wall, East German border guards shot Peter Fechter when he attempted to surmount the Wall near Checkpoint Charlie. They let the severely injured, screaming 18-year-old bleed to death for 55 minutes – in full sight of Western citizens, West Berlin police and American military police, who in accordance with their instructions did not interfere on the Eastern side of the Wall. Adding a PR disaster to the human tragedy, an American officer allegedly remarked: ‘That’s not our problem.’2 Even more than a year ago, the public outrage was directed at the Western failure to intervene as much at the Eastern offence: the press was full of criticism, crowds chanted anti-American slogans, a US sector patrol was ‘jeered at and had its vehicle rocked by a crowd which also threw some stones’, and a small demonstration occurred in front of the US Mission – West Berlin witnessed its most serious anti-American outbursts so far, unheard of by the standards of the early 1960s.3 One and a half years later, Brandt wrote that ‘Psychologically this crisis had to be taken even more seriously than the one that had immediately followed the erection of the Wall.’4 His interpretation was that the crisis of confidence quenched by the Johnson visit one year earlier had resurfaced and that only now did the West Berliners begin to grasp the full meaning of the Wall and the limits of the Western commitment.5