[YesAuto Wonderful Car Life] On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, BMW released a micro-film called “The Small Escape”, which tells the true story of BMW Isetta helping 9 people escape the GDR.
After the Second World War, the former capital of Nazi Germany was divided into East Berlin and West Berlin. Before the construction of the Berlin Wall, about 3.5 million German residents fled the Soviet-occupied area and later GDR and East Berlin. Among them, about 2.6 million were from 1949 to 1961. In addition, a large number of Poles and Czechoslovakians also regarded Berlin as It is the gateway to the west. After the construction of the Berlin Wall, such escapes decreased significantly between 1961 and 1989, and about 5,000 people attempted to cross the Berlin Wall.
In the Berlin Wall Museum, thousands of exhibits record the history of this once-divided city, the strictly controlled borders between East and West, and those desperately seeking freedom, including a small escape vehicle: the BMW Isetta. As a tour guide, Klaus-Günter Jacobi often accompanies tourists to visit the Berlin Wall Museum, but few people know that he hid his best friend Manfred Koster in the BMW Isetta and successfully escaped from GDR.
The BMW Isetta is only 2.3 meters long and 1.4 meters wide. In order to hide an adult inside without arousing the suspicion of border guards, Jacobi modified the vehicle. He removed part of the trim panels behind the seats, modified the frame, removed the spare tire, heater and air filter, and replaced the 13-liter fuel tank with a 2-liter fuel tank to make room for Tibetans .
At midnight on May 23, 1964, the BMW Isetta modified by Jacobi successfully passed the border checkpoint. This was the only time Jacobi's BMW Isetta was used as an escape car, but his success inspired other imitators. In the next few years, eight more citizens of the Democratic Republic of Germany fled to the West in the same modified BMW Isetta.