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domingo, 15 de dezembro de 2013

Checkpoint Charlie

The Berlin Wall was a symbol of the Cold War and separation of Germany and Berlin. After World War II the city of Berlin was divided into four sectors: The American, British and French sectors were part of the west, while the Soviet was part of the communist sector in the East.

Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse was the only allowed point to enter East Berlin. 

I visited Berlin in 1983 and that was the place where I saw my East German friends for the last time. It was very shocking to see only very old people crossing the border. They were the only East Germans allowed to visit their families, from whom they were separated in 1961. Only tourists with a visa, diplomats and military personnel could cross the border.

Today Checkpoint Charlie is only a tourist attraction. 

People will be disappointed about the Berlin Wall because only a few sections of it still exist. 

The first time I saw a part of it, after the wall was dismantled, was in the USA, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The border between East and West Berlin has been opened since 1989 and many people go daily from one part of the city into the other. However the best paces for shopping and entertainment are still in the former West Berlin.

During the last Christmas holidays it was my first opportunity to say: Hooray for the Unification!

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