Checkpoint Charlie, 1981


Checkpoint Charlie seen from a coach window


This slightly unassuming street scene, taken through a coach window by a tourist actually shows one of the most iconic locations of divided Berlin - Checkpoint Charlie.

Again, I think this is probably 1981. The checkpoint hut is a more substantial affair than the 1961 incarnation (or its reproduction which stands on the site now), but less so than the mid 80s building, which is now in the AlliertenMuseum in Dahlem.


A close up of the checkpoint itself


Looking a bit closer reveals a sign warning "Achtung! Sektorengrenze" (Caution! Sector boundary). The US flag flies from the checkpoint's flagpole - the checkpoint was in the American sector. An East German watchtower can be seen beyond the boundary, though not the same watchtower which I mentioned back in December 2009. The one in this picture was demolished in 1984, when a much larger crossing point was built on the East Berlin side.

After passing through the checkpoint, vehicles went around a slalom into the eastern border control point. This obscured the view through from the east to the west and also made it impossible to escape across the border by just charging straight through at high speed.


A close up of the checkpoint itself


Coach windows aren't exactly renowned for their optical precision and so some of the details are rather fuzzy, but there are a few interesting things to be made out.

The notice under the no parking sign (the round red and blue one) says "Für Aliierte Fahrzeuge frei", meaning the parking spaces beyond it are reserved for Allied vehicles.

The poster beyond it is for Berliner Kindl beer and says "Berliner - das ist Euer Kindl" , which could be read as "Berliners - this is your child" (Kindl is an old fashioned Bavarian diminutive of Kind - child - a reference to the Bavarian brewing tradition which Berliner Kindl borrows from, the Münchner Kindl being the figure on Munich's coat of arms).

U-Bahn: 
Kochstraße (U6)
Location: 
Looking towards Checkpoint Charlie Berlin

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