August 13th in History

East German soldiers put up the Wall while most Berliners were asleep

1961: Berliners wake to divided city

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Troops in East Germany have sealed the border between East and West Berlin, shutting off the escape route for thousands of refugees from the East.

Barbed wire fences up to six feet (1.83 metres) high were put up during the night, and Berliners woke this morning to find themselves living in a divided city.

Train services between the two sectors of the city have been cut, and all road traffic across the border has been stopped.

Thousands of angry demonstrators quickly gathered on the West Berlin side of the divide. At one crossing point, protesters tried to trample down the barbed wire, only to be driven back by guards with bayonets .

The West German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, appealed for calm, saying in a broadcast to the nation this evening: "Now, as always, we are closely bound to the Germans of the Russian zone and East Berlin.

"They are and remain our German brothers and sisters. The Federal Government remains firmly committed to the goal of German unity."

There has been outrage from the international community at the abrupt decision to cut off one side of the city from the other.

A Foreign Office spokesman in London said the restrictions were contrary to the four-power status of Berlin, and therefore illegal.

The American Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, called it a "flagrant violation" of East-West agreements, and said there would be a vigorous protest to Russia.

The tide of people fleeing East Germany has grown to a flood in recent days, as the Soviet Union has taken an increasingly hard line over breaking away from the three Allied powers and forming a separate peace treaty with East Germany over Berlin.

Nearly 12,500 people left East Germany this week - over 2,000 more than the previous week.

The East German government has been taking desperate measures to stem the flow. Yesterday, border guards were intercepting trains near Berlin and interrogating passengers. Those who arrived in Berlin said only one in 10 was allowed through.

There had been rumours of a decisive crackdown on refugees since the East German parliament met yesterday and approved new, unspecified measures against them.

The rumours provoked an even more frantic exodus . Just before the borders were closed, the numbers more than doubled, with some 3,000 East Germans fleeing to the West in just 24 hours.

Jamie Gavin is recovering at Harefield Hospital

2000: Murdered schoolgirl's life celebrated

Artificially 1969: FilmTheTheAA A three-year-old boy from Dublin has become the world's youngest heart and lung transplant patient.

Jamie Gavin had the four-hour operation at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, west of London.

His condition is described as satisfactory.

The young patient and his parents were flown from Ireland to London on Monday.

He had been waiting for a donor since May, when doctors told his parents he had a congenital heart disease which was progressively weakening his heart and lungs.

Jamie's parents, Tom and Marian Gavin, have spoken of the pressure of their wait.

They said that before the operation Jamie had hardly any energy.

Mrs Gavin said: "He was very tiny for his age, he didn't grow and was very thin.

"He didn't have a future without this operation."

Before Jamie, the youngest heart-lung patient was five-year old Brook Matthews from Australia who also underwent surgery at Harefield.

Jamie's operation was performed by Britain's leading transplant specialist, Egyptian-born Magdi Yacoub.

It was the 20th time Mr Yacoub has carried out this procedure at Harefield - so far 14 of those who have had the operation are still alive.

Mr Yacoub used a new device - a miniature support machine - which allowed the donor's heart and lungs to be brought to Harefield.

Until recently the donor's body had to be transported to Harefield because the organs could be damaged if moved separately.

This meant that some chances for transplants were lost as moving the body was deemed too impractical or was too upsetting for relatives.  


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