Berlin 2008 – Checkpoint Charlie

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, I was in my first term at University – literally half my lifetime ago.

Our hotel, was about 100 yards into East Berlin, with Checkpoint Charlie at the end of the block. Neither of us  could quite get over the fact we were wandering around East Berlin.
On the S-Bahn to and from the airport, it was clear that while lots of money has been invested in the East, certain areas remain untouched. As we looked at people our age getting on and off the train, it was almost unfathomable to contemplate the changes they must have experienced. Not just to their environment, but to their worldview and moral certainties.
I guess it’s enevitable that Checkpoint Charlie would become a tourist attraction – and for all I was a tourist, and I was there, I found the jolly t-shirts and posing with the ‘soliders’ slightly distastful. I was glad to see that there are church services where the dead are remembered.