Checkpoint Charlie Passport Stamp

Contributed by Ken Russon

Checkpoint Charlie Passport Stamp

As an 18 year old I visited West Berlin, then a Western enclave in communist East Germany. Although I knew that the Belin Wall existed I found the actual structure very shocking. I had envisaged a simple wall and had not thought much about its real meaning. I visted communist East Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie and had my passport stamped with the checkpoint time and date stamp. (14:30 05 April 1971). I found the contrast between east and west very disturbing and the image of the wall remained with me. When the wall was destroyed in 1989 I shed tears of joy. My passport stamp serves as a reminder of this period of history and the artificial separation of people by repressive regimes that still continue.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 14:12 on 21 October 2010, Mark wrote:

    I have (somewhere) a letter from the DDR Government from 1987, in response to an inquiry that I made regarding the rights of lesbians and gay men in the country. I also visited the country in '88, and took a picture of a friend in front of the wall, by the sign-post for Zimmerstrasser. I found the same spot a few years after the wall came down, and took another picture, as proof that nothing is forever, and solidity is often a mirage. On my trip around Berlin in '87 I recall trying to take a photograph in Friedrichstrasser station, and being hurredly stopped by my friend who pointed out the DDR guards, and their machine guns; we also saw them in the gloom of the stations that were in East Berlin, but which the U-Bahn travelled through as part of the network.

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Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie


1971 5 April


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