Image: Prince Harry
Kai-Uwe Knoth  /  AP
Britain's Prince Harry places a wreath during his visit of the Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial in Berlin, on Sunday.
updated 12/19/2010 1:39:01 PM ET 2010-12-19T18:39:01

Britain's Prince Harry paid tribute Sunday to the people killed trying to escape communist East Germany across the Berlin Wall, and also made a private visit to the German capital's Holocaust memorial.

The 26-year-old prince laid a wreath at a memorial in the German capital's Bernauer Strasse, which contains one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall.

It was accompanied by a handwritten message that read: "For all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of freedom. Harry."

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Researchers estimate that 136 people were killed while trying to cross the Berlin Wall between its building in 1961 and 1989, when East Germany opened its border.

Harry also spent more than an hour at the memorial to the Holocaust's 6 million Jewish victims — a field of 2,700 gray slabs, situated close to the capital's signature Brandenburg Gate, which opened to the public in 2005.

Harry toured the museum under the memorial, meeting staff and a Holocaust survivor, a spokesman for the prince said. He wanted to keep the visit private "given the poignancy of the place," he added.

The prince was in Berlin for a television fundraising gala Saturday night at which he was honored for his charity work.

On Sunday, he also visited the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Germany's Cold War division and its reunification.

The prince, the third in line to the British throne, has shed a party-loving, bad-boy image over recent years.

In January 2005, Harry apologized after being pictured in a newspaper at a costume party dressed as a Nazi, complete with a swastika armband.

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