The Tunnels

The Tunnels

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Описание
In the summer of 1962, one year after East German Communists built the Berlin Wall, a group of daring young West Germans came up with a plan. They would risk prison, Stasi torture, even death to liberate friends, lovers, and strangers in East Berlin by digging tunnels under the Wall. Among the tunnelers and escape helpers were a legendary cyclist, an American student from Stanford, and an engineer who would later help build the tunnel under the English Channel. Then two U.S. television networks, NBC and CBS, heard about the secret projects, and raced to be first to air a spectacular "inside tunnel" special on the human will for freedom. The networks funded two separate tunnels in return for exclusive rights to film the escapes. In response, President John F. Kennedy and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, wary of anything that might raise tensions and force a military confrontation with the Soviets, maneuvered to quash both documentaries. As Greg Mitchell's riveting narrative unfolds week by week, sometimes hour by hour, we meet extraordinary characters: the tunneler who had already served four years in the East German gulag; the Stasi informer who betrays the "CBS tunnel"; the young East Berliner who escapes with her baby, then marries one of the tunnelers. Capturing the hopes and fears of everyday Berliners, the chilling reach of the Stasi secret police, U.S. networks prepared to "pay for play" yet willing to cave to official pressure, and a White House and State Department eager to suppress historic coverage, The Tunnels is "breaking history," a propulsive read whose themes still reverberate.