Primary Sources

Do You Know This Woman?


Throughout the Cold War both sides regularly sent agents across the border, both to gather information that might be useful and to test the ability of the guardians of the border to catch agents of the other side. The images shown here are from copies made by border guards in East Berlin during the final years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although the names and biographical data in these passports are different, a close examination of the photographs reveals that Mary Beth Butterly and Erin Ann McDonnell are the same woman. Look carefully at the nose, eyes, eyebrows, and cheeks and you will see the facial features that indicate that these passports depict the same person.


Do You Know This Woman (Berlin, East Germany), courtesy of the Wende Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

How to Cite this Source

"Do You Know This Woman?" Making the History of 1989, Item #714, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:24 pm).