Remaining Section of the Berlin Wall-Berlin Germany
During my last visit to Berlin in May of 2019, the “hop on-hop off” sightseeing tour included sites for the old border of east-west Berlin.
In August of 1961, a barbed wire divided the city, and that eventually was replaced by a concrete barrier. The division occurred as a result of the end of the war when eastern Germany was under Soviet occupation.
At the stop of “checkpoint Charlie” that features a museum and a mock-up checkpoint, tourists can see what it would have been like for a person to go from one side to the other.
Visitors could have photos taken with actors in American GI uniforms as souvenirs. I was happy to read that they are no longer allowing this.
I also had mixed feelings about the 1-mile section of the wall along the Spree River. It is a gallery of murals on one side and graffiti on the other. There is a group that is working on preserving this historic area, and my thoughts are that it should stay. With all the division in the world today, it is truly a place of remembrance.
Here are some of the murals:
The wall extended for 81 miles, only part of it was in Berlin.
Here are some of the things I learned during the visit:
Families were separated, they could live very closeby but not be allowed to visit
Folks over 65 were usually allowed to cross because the focus was on educating a new generation to be obedient to the state
Apartments and automobiles in the east were often bugged, especially if a person had a high profile job
Trenches were built in front of the wall to prevent escape
The top of the wall was changed from square to round to make it harder to hold on to
People caught escaping were shot
Here is the side of the wall with graffiti:
The Spree River divides and the Oberbaum Bridge connects
I watched a documentary at the hotel in Berlin, and it showed a clip of the countryside where part of the wall was. Family members would be able to get up to it and lean on it to be close to loved ones on the other side. It was filmed by Checker Tobi for anyone interested. You may need a translator 🙂
Here are some messages to take away on this significant date in history-November 9th
I want to thank Debbie at Travel with Intent for inspiring me to write about my visit to Berlin.
Please click here to visit her post on the 30th anniversary of the “Fall of the wall.”
Also, I would like to say that Berlin is a wonderful city to visit. It has so much to see give yourself at least a week. There is no need to rent a car, the train system can get you anywhere and is so comfortable.
Nice capture of the history. I so happen to have watched a documentary on this on Channel News Asia in lil red dot last evening too.
Nice commentary. Visited Berlin last in January and your commentary made me relive part of that trip…
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