Fake East German police causerow at Berlin Wall memorial

3rd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 June 2004 , BERLIN - Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall's legendary border crossing, was the scene of bitter row Thursday pitting students in East German police uniforms against the curator of a memorial to those shot dead while trying to escape to the West. The faux East German border police in uniforms with jackboots and peaked caps are acting students who charge tourists EUR one to pose with them for pictures in front of the Checkpoint Charlie hut which used to house US soldiers guarding West Berlin.

3 June 2004

BERLIN - Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall's legendary border crossing, was the scene of bitter row Thursday pitting students in East German police uniforms against the curator of a memorial to those shot dead while trying to escape to the West.

The faux East German border police in uniforms with jackboots and peaked caps are acting students who charge tourists EUR one to pose with them for pictures in front of the Checkpoint Charlie hut which used to house US soldiers guarding West Berlin.

But this has infuriated Alexandra Hildebrandt who runs the popular Berlin Wall Museum which is in charge of running Checkpoint Charlie.

"We can no longer just watch while this symbol of (Germany's) division is abused," said Hildebrandt, whose late husband, Rainer Hildebrandt, established the museum during the Cold War.

Hildebrandt on Thursday draped the Checkpoint Charlie hut with blue plastic sheeting to prevent it from being used as a background for photos.

In reply, the students wrapped themselves in toilet paper to hide their uniforms.

More than 250 people were shot dead trying to escape over the Wall by sub-machine gun toting East German border police from 13 August 1961, when the Wall was built, until 9 November 1989 when it was opened.

Communist East Germany imploded shortly thereafter and Germany was unified in 1990.

Checkpoint Charlie was the scene of tense standoffs in the early 1960s with American and Soviet tanks literally facing muzzle to muzzle.

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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