Communist Era commemoration: Checkpoint Charlie

10 10 2007

The communist era is heavily commemorated in Berlin, with memorials, museums, special tours and more, scattered all over the city. We have already mentioned and elaborated about the Berlin Wall, and mentioned the sweet and sour issue of German Unification, but there still remains a lot to be said.

From Israeli perspective, some of these issues had special relevance in the past (the unification, for instance, didn’t go so well among eternal revenge seekers here, an attitude I strongly disapprove of). Other issues are pretty relevant, in a very painful way, nowadays, as we ourselves have been building a separation wall between us and the Palestinians.

The less nationalistic and fear-driven Israelis cannot help but think here about the Berlin Wall, and the general futility of “Wall solutions”. So, although for me, the Communist Era commemoration is of less significance than the Holocaust and Nazi Era commemoration (you will get loads of it later on…), it still carries some relevant weight.

That said, now it’s time to get into specifics.

Checkpoint Charlie

The most famous “tourist attraction”, mentioned in every tour book as one of the main “must-sees” in Berlin, is Checkpoint Charlie, and the adjacent museum. Checkpoint Charlie was the former border crossing point between East and West Berlin, and a place where Soviet and American tanks stood face to face. There was a watchtower there, but it was demolished in 2000.

Checkpoint Charlie.

The museum “Haus am Checkpoint Charlie“, founded by Rainer Hildebrandt, tells the history of the Wall. They also call themselves “the first museum of international nonviolent protest”.

Last Kremlin Flag on Checkpoint Charlie.

Checkpoint Charlie is located on Friedrichstraße 43-45. You get there by taking the U6 to Kochstr./Checkpoint Charlie. The museum’s entrance fee is 9.50 euros, or 5.50 euros reduced price and groups.


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