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Published on Apr 15, 2007
Known as Grenzübergang Friedrichstraße in German, the English language name 'Checkpoint Charlie' was the colloquial name for a crossing point between the former East and West Berlin (Russian and American sectors of the divided city).
Although it first came into being in 1945, after the 1961 erection of the wall it became one of the few crossing points between the two sections of the divided city. It was restricted to military officers and non Germans only.
Germans had to use other crossing points.
It was located at the southern part of Friedrichstrasse - near to Kochstrasse U-Bahn station in West Berlin, with Stadtmitte being the nearest open U-Bahn station in East Berlin.
Nowadays very little remains of this crossing point - the wall, watch towers, wooden shed used by the US military... these were all removed after German reunification in October 1990.
For tourists there is now a replica of the original US military checkpoint shed and large photographs of US and Soviet Russian solders stand guard admitting people to their own sectors. The former wall is now delineated on the ground by a double row of cobblestones. (As seen at the end of this film).
This film shows video footage taken in April 1990 plus still image photographs taken in December 1989 and July 2005. There is footage on both sides of the wall, although for reasons of personal security the footage of the Eastern side of the crossing point is somewhat minimal. Nevertheless it is possible to see the arrangement of frosted glass screens which made it virtually impossible to see the crossing point from the East.
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