Berlin

Old Jun 6th 2019, 7:34 am
  #1  
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Default Berlin

I firts visited in 1963 en route to Warsaw. I remember the fascination a the train went through the divided city and the gurads all over Friedrichstrasse (in the East, ie the GDR).

I was back in 1964 when I went to meet John Peet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P...%E2%80%931988)

Then in 1968-1969 I worked as an English Language Assistant in Wet Berlin.

Back in 1990 - in "The Last Summer of The GDR"

Various visits since then. I am now planning another visit (my last ?) in the autumn of 2009
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Old Jun 6th 2019, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Berlin is awesome. Changed a lot scince 1990 though!
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Old Jun 9th 2019, 7:16 am
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Incredible rate of change since 1945. I am appalled at how people in Britain are so ill-informed about Germany.
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 1:04 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I first visited in 1963 en route to Warsaw. I remember the fascination a the train went through the divided city and the guards all over Friedrichstrasse (in the East, ie the GDR).
Those were the days eh, scot! In 1963 I hitched over to Hamburg and bought a used VW Beetle and drove it to Berlin, where I met up with a chum and we drove back to London. Next visit was in '65, in the same car, with a girl I'd picked up in a Greek hostel and driven through Eastern Europe with. We entered the USSR from Finland, then came through Poland and East Germany, and I talked the border guards into letting us enter West Germany at Checkpoint Charlie.

The rule was that one had to go right around into Western Germany and enter West Berlin from that country, at one of the three autobahn points. But we turned up late at night, twenty minutes before our GDR visa was due to expire, very short of petrol and no GDR marks to buy any anyway. After a desperate argument in my pidgin German, the guards crossed their fingers and grumpily let us through. The US soldiers on the other side had a fit! "You can't enter here! You have to go round! You're lucky they didn't shoot you!" and similar. But they knew they couldn't send us back, so... One of my proudest moments, that! I was on a high for days. You know what it's like when you put one over officialdom!
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 4:05 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Gordon. When you went through Checkppoint Charlie you entered West Berlin, not West Germany. The GDR and the Allied Occupying Powers always held that these were two separate entities. It was a very strange set-up. Surprising that it lasted so long.

I know that when I try to explain it all to outsiders that I see their eyes glaze over. Looking at a map can help. West Berlin was like an island surrounded by the GDR ("East Germany" in Daily Mail-speak)

Since unification and the take-over of the GDR by Bonn, Germany has prospered. No one can say that of GB since it lost its Empire ( although some, like Rees-Mogg are doing very well !)

Last edited by scot47; Jun 10th 2019 at 4:15 am.
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Gordon. When you went through Checkppoint Charlie you entered West Berlin, not West Germany. The GDR and the Allied Occupying Powers always held that these were two separate entities.
Yes, you're quite right, scot; but I count it as West Germany because I drove out on one of the three permitted autobahns without a hitch, and was not stamped out or held up at all when I finally reached West Germany. (Because I was already in WB - a different territory from West Germany though it was.) It must have been extremely rare for anybody to have reached FRG (if that's what it was called) from West Berlin without having entered the latter via one of those same autobahns. I do know that we weren't supposed to have crossed into WB at Checkpoint Charlie without having earlier crossed into East Berlin (which was East Germany, of course) there or at one of the other allied points. The US border guards there had certainly never heard of it being done - or so they said! What do you reckon?
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I firts visited in 1963 en route to Warsaw. I remember the fascination a the train went through the divided city and the gurads all over Friedrichstrasse (in the East, ie the GDR).

I was back in 1964 when I went to meet John Peet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P...%E2%80%931988)

Then in 1968-1969 I worked as an English Language Assistant in Wet Berlin.

Back in 1990 - in "The Last Summer of The GDR"

Various visits since then. I am now planning another visit (my last ?) in the autumn of 2009
Got a time travel machine then,
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Berlin

TYPO ! For a man of my great age what is ten years ?
No one took me up on "Wet Berlin" for West Berlin !

Of course it is 2019. As I count my bawbees and fend off requests for financial help from descendants, I may have to cancel my plans !

I was always intrigued by the naming conventions. As soon as you named the city, your political stance became clear. See this from Wikipedia -

Naming conventions

Most Westerners called the Western sectors "Berlin", unless further distinction was necessary. The West German Federal government officially called West Berlin "Berlin (West)", although it also used the hyphenated "West-Berlin", whereas the East German government commonly referred to it as "Westberlin".[ Starting from 31 May 1961, East Berlin was officially called Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR (Berlin, Capital of the GDR), replacing the formerly used term Demokratisches Berlin,or simply "Berlin", by East Germany, and "Berlin (Ost)" by the West German Federal government. Other names used by West German media included "Ost-Berlin", "Ostberlin", or "Ostsektor". These different naming conventions for the divided parts of Berlin, when followed by individuals, governments, or media, commonly indicated their political leanings, with the centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung using "Ost-Berlin" and the centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung using "Ostberlin".

Last edited by scot47; Jun 10th 2019 at 2:08 pm.
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Old Jun 10th 2019, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Berlin

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
TYPO ! For a man of my great age what is ten years ?
No one took me up on "Wet Berlin" for West Berlin !

Of course it is 2019. As I count my bawbees and fend off requests for financial help from descendants, I may have to cancel my plans !
In 1969 I entered Eat Berlin from Wet Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie.
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Old Jun 11th 2019, 1:03 am
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Default Re: Berlin

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I may have to cancel my plans !

.
I hope you go on your trip







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