Helena Merriman: Undermining the Berlin Wall

Many of us remember 1989 and the images of people dancing on the Berlin Wall before it fell. Journalist and broadcaster Helena Merriman has focused on the other end of the Berlin Wall story, the early 1960s when it was first built. Based on her award-winning Radio 4 podcast series, her book tells the spine-tingling true story of a man who escaped from East Berlin and then, from the western side, dug a tunnel under the Wall to allow others to escape too. In a series of fascinating interviews, Tunnel 29 follows Joachim and his friends as they set about digging a passage which enabled 29 strangers to travel to the West. Join the author as she shares the many twists and turns, setbacks and Stasi infiltrations encountered along the way. Sixty years on, when political dividing walls have become fashionable once again, the story of Tunnel 29 is strikingly relevant. This event is chaired by Scottish journalist and broadcaster Sheena McDonald.

This is a live event, with an author Q&A. After the event, Helena Merriman will be doing a virtual book signing via Zoom. Buy her book in our online Festival Bookshop and select 'Meet The Author' to book your place.

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