Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie er en turistfælde
er en turistfælde.

In the Cold War, it was almost mandatory for spy movies to show Checkpoint Charlie at some point; the very symbol that Berlin was for a period separated into a West and an East Berlin. Therefore, the place naturally has great historical value, but today it unfortunately appears mostly as a tourist trap.

You can still - experimentally - get an impression of what it has looked like, because there is still a guard shed with a couple of border guards in front. But partly it does not make much sense when it is no longer a 'hole' in the wall, but just located in the middle terrace of a road, partly it has in fact been moved from its original location for the sake of urban development. Then one might as well have peeled it down, and rebuilt it indoors in a Cold War museum.

Oplevelsen bliver ikke bedre af, at der rundt omkring er masser af gadehandlende med højt prissatte, men temmelig suspekte, hatte og medaljer fra den Røde Hær – og at man mod passende betaling kan blive fotograferet foran skuret, flankeret af to storsmilende grænsevagter i uniformer fra henholdsvis den amerikanske og den sovjettiske hær.

Gadehandel med sovjettiske uniformsdele
Street trade in Soviet uniforms

I tried for fun to haggle over the price of a fur hat, which was supposed to be an original fur hat belonging to a general in the Red Army in Soviet times. The street vendor knew a good deal of English, but he miraculously got worse and worse at it as my skepticism became clearer and clearer. When he was down to half the first given price, I dropped it and went my way, saying ugly words in an incomprehensible German behind my back.

var i perioden fra Muren blev bygget i 1961 til den faldt igen i 1989 en af de vigtigste grænseovergange mellem Østberlin og Vestberlin.

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