I knew I could do it, provided that I was alone, and that I was the person I am today. Had I been raised in DDR and lived there all my life, I would no doubt be a very different person, who might not be able to pull it off. To escape, first prepare. - Spend a lot of time, thinking it through, learning everything you need to know. It might take a year or more. - I knew DDR had some kind of millitaristic boy scout organisation. Sort of a mix between Hitler Jugend and normal boy scouts. Perfect training facility. Learn how to use a compass and a map. Learn how to survive in the wild. Learn the system from within. That might be an option, but there are many ways to learn this stuff. The army being one of them, or just have a trusted friend or relative learn you the basics. You don't have to tell him you're planning to escape. Just pretend you love spending time in the nature (Which in my case, you don't even have to pretend) - Get away. People did go on vacation you know... Sure I would still be somewhere on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, but at least it would take me away from Berlin. The ideal place would be 1. Loosly populated and 2. Close the the border. Once there, spend time surveying the area, gather information. Collect butterflyes or some crap, so everyone thinks you're some kind of insect geek (Of course beforehand, you have learned everything there is to know about butterflyes and brought books along with you, so it seems real) Alternatively, you could go there several times over the years, so people there would get used to your pressence. - Pack the right stuff. Forget shooting the dog. Instead leave a trail of pebber or something else, that will completely screw up the dogs nose, without causing a lot of noise. Bring maps, money, compass, papers, clothing that will hide you, without causing suspicion (black or dark brown coat etc). Forget stealing food from farms, too risky. Canned food and the dark rye bread made in Germany, can feed you for long periods, without you having to pack loads of it. Then all you have to resupply is water, which is fairly easy. - Timing. Move through the right terrain, at the right time. The most risky places at night.