Mr. Braun said today (Aug 2, 1982) that he first escaped to the West two months ago but returned to the East and then escaped again.
The escapee, who is 48 years old, appeared at a news conference where a translator and spokesman said Mr. Braun's station wagon, repainted to resemble a standard beige Soviet patrol vehicle, came through the Invalidenstrasse crossing. The mannequins dressed as Soviet officers were displayed on a table next to Mr Braun.
As representatives of the four Allied powers governing Berlin under the postwar occupation agreement, Soviet military patrols may cross freely between the East and West sectors, as may those of the United States, Britain and France.
Mr. Braun told reporters that he emigrated from West Germany to the East in 1959 and operated an automobile tire service in the Pankow district of East Berlin.
He said that he returned to East Berlin secretly after the first escape to look for his friend, but that she had gone back to her divorced husband.
The plan was devised by Wolf Quasner, one of the ''escape helpers'' in West Berlin. Mr. Quasner, who also appeared at the news conference, said he got the idea from observing ''the remarkable stiffness and masklike expressions'' of Soviet officers in their patrol vehicles.
Mr. Braun said he repainted his personal car, a Soviet Lada, to make it look like a patrol vehicle. A courier from Mr. Quasner brought him the three uniformed mannequins, he said, and he disguised himself as a Soviet Army sergeant.
At the Invalidenstrasse crossing, and three other checkpoints, East German guards waved him through.
Statistics kept by the West Berlin police show 4,902 Easterners have made it safely through, over or under the wall in the 25 years it has been up. Seventy-three people are known to have died trying to escape, according to Western statistics.
Aug. 2, 1986, Section 1, Page 4 New York Times
The police spokesman said Mr. Braun, a former East Berlin tire salesman, had confessed that he had fabricated the tale he described at a news conference last Friday about escaping to the West, it was a hoax.
'The basic idea to say that his disguise had duped East German border guards was his,'' Mr. Quasner said. ''I added the detail of the mannequins dressed as Soviet officers.''
He said he and Mr. Braun had deposited notarized affadavits with a West Berlin lawyer that any money earned from the sale of the story would be returned, or donated to refugee aid organizations.
For a real escape, that was very cool, and with an Austin Healey Sprite, https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2015/07/heinz-meixner-defects-from-east-germany.html