Checkpoint Charlie is the famous border crossing between East and West Berlin, where American and Russian forces stood against each other after the creation of the Berlin wall on August 13, 1961.
After this event, Checkpoint Charlie became the only point at which tourists, western military and foreign diplomats could cross into the communist state.
The name "Checkpoint Charlie" came from the phonetic alphabet. There were two other American checkpoints - Helmstadt (Checkpoint Alpha) and Dreilinden (Checkpoint Bravo). Following this scheme, the third checkpoint on Friedrichstrasse was named "Checkpoint Charlie".
The checkpoint was removed on the 22nd of June, 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The original guard towers at Checkpoint Charlie have been placed in the Allied Museum in Zehlendorf. However, replicas have been constructed and today tourists can be seen at all hours of the day taking their picture beside this historic landmark.
Next to the checkpoint, is the famous "Cafe Adler" where during the cold war, many people in West Berlin would sit to have a good view into East Germany. The Berlin Wall that existed near this checkpoint was completely removed, however in 2004 a 140 meter long section of the wall was put back where it once stood. In addition to this wall, it is also possible to see where the wall ran by looking for a brick line laid into Freidrichstrasse.
The easiest way to reach Checkpoint Charlie is to take the U6 to Freidrichstrasse. It may also be of interest to many people to visit the Berlin Wall Museum situated opposite this famous Berlin attraction.
Checkpoint Charlie Reviews
In 1967 my mother & I flew into Frankfurt. My brother was stationed with the army in Germany. One of the places he was at was Checkpoint Charlie, sitting in a window of a building, 2nd or 3rd floor, across from the checkpoint keeping watch & other times actually standing guard at the checkpoint. President Kennedy stood on a wooden step platform when he went to West Berlin to see the east just down a walkway from Checkpoint Charlie. My mother & I took a tour into the east on a bus one afternoon. My brother couldn't go due to him being in the Army--not sure he would've wanted to with seeing the other side almost daily. There was a park we were taken to & East German soldiers came goose stepping down the walk way. A military jeep went down the road with a small trailer, with a soldier & machine gun facing the road. We were also shown buildings that were bombed & never build back. Upon returning to the West there were mirrors attached to long handles that were run under the bus--looking for people who were trying to escape. Our passports were checked.I was looked at & my passport a few times. My mother thought they were going to pull me off that bus--but they didn't. When we finally crossed back into West Berlin, I was never so happy to be on FREE soil. FREEDOM IS SO PRECIOUS!
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