News from Berlin

Crossing Borders at Checkpoint Charlie

June 27th, 2014
Checkpoint Charlie.jpg

News from Berlin - Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most famous sights of the city. The original barriers and guard towers of the former military checkpoint have however  now been replaced by replicas and the wall has disappeared.

This famous checkpoint was next to the Glienicke bridge the most famous border crossing in Berlin, and it was one of three controlled by the Americans. The others were the checkpoints Helmstedt-Marie Born (Checkpoint Alpha) and Linden Drewitz (Checkpoint Bravo). The transition could only be used by foreigners and staff of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany in the GDR and GDR officials.

It became famous in October 1961, when a standoff occurred between U.S. and Soviet tanks on either side of the checkpoint. The origin of the dispute was whether East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat passing through to East Berlin. The stand-off lasted 6 days before the tanks were withdrawn.

In addition, the checkpoint was the scene of spectacular escapes, sometimes unfortunately fatal, as on August 17th 1962, when a teenage East German, Peter Fechter, was shot to death by Soviet guards.

There is also a museum right near the checkpoint on, of course, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin wall.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global