Die Mauer
by Bill Christensen (63-66)
East Berlin signs translated by Tom Emdy
Captions by P. Adams (62-64)


The Wall:
A short story in photographs

Eastern dignitaries on the other side, congratulating themselves on what a fine Wall it is!
bcwl3dcb.jpg (84434 bytes) A Wall-building at the corner of Bernauer and Swinemünder Strasse. Note the barbed wire on the roof. An apartment on the top floor, to the right appears to be inhabited. But if you jumped, you’d still land on the East side of the Wall.
See the missing bricks in some of the "windows?" They have been seen in other locations, as well. Could they be peep holes?
bcwl4b.jpg (50853 bytes) A lovely church stands defiant behind the infamous Wall. It is difficult to see (see close-up of the clock below,) but the clock on the front of the steeple shows 15 minutes later than the one on the side (or 23 hour, 45 minutes earlier.) Funds were not easy to come by for churches in the East.
The sign on the wall proclaims “In Tyranny.” It looks like an existing property wall, but…
Close-up of the ambiguous tower clock in the picture above.
bcwl5bcb.jpg (108761 bytes) …but the existing property wall is attached to the closed buildings on Bernauer, where Hussitenstrasse ends. That’s the same ‘intyrannos’ seen before.
bcwl15bcb.jpg (85105 bytes) The view of the store fronts was downright depressing in those days. Does a "trusted" citizen live in the room with the new windows on the third floor up, or is it just another peephole in disguise?
bcwl20bcb.jpg (69426 bytes) What’s the deal with the hand?
bcwl21mcb.jpg (61557 bytes) Ah, now it's clear enough!
bcwl25bcb.jpg (67764 bytes) Note the couple climbing the observation steps and the sign above them, which is meant for those in the East. The Wall printing is “Trotz Mauer Ein Volk!” – Despite the Wall – One People! The sign in the East, facing west states, for our benefit, "he who wants a return to the borders of 1939 wants war! But there is another (?solution?)”.
bcwl30b.jpg (82989 bytes) Suppose that is your apartment up one floor um die Ecke (on the corner), and you have this beautiful view over the Wall. Alas, not a dream most would have -- more like a nightmare. The dark shape in the foreground on the left appears to be another sign aimed at the East. Are the lads near the Wall taking pictures?
bcwl33b.jpg (87432 bytes) Let’s see. You have your dead zone, and your Wall, and even a high view-blocking fence. What’s that all about?
bcwl34b.jpg (85817 bytes) It’s clear a higher observation tower is needed to see over the extra view-blocker.
The Berliners on the viewing stand are dressed in their finery. And when they were out and about, they usually were.
bcwl35bcb.jpg (79406 bytes) This scene shows trolleys on the East side. From the observation tower one can see a sign pointed our way. It reads “Why are you so uncomfortable? You'll see more, you'll experience the truth, you can judge objectively - when you visit East Berlin yourself!”
bcwl40bcb.jpg (70590 bytes) At the end of the French Sector. Brrrr.
bcwl45bcb.jpg (83673 bytes) Toil and trouble.
bcwl50bcb.jpg (102146 bytes) Not the best place to have a Verlag (publishing house). Note the guard tower midway down the street.
bcwl55bcb.jpg (90155 bytes) Die Fraulein ist frei. The unfortunates living to her left are not…
bcwl60bcb.jpg (93078 bytes) Another spot in the French Sector. The young man’s light-colored suit has the European ‘cut’ of the times, and stands in stark contrast to the austere visage across die Mauer. The brightly colored red and blue sign was a rarity. A sign of our own faces the East sector.
bcwl70bcb.jpg (86719 bytes) The magnificent building to the right appears to be a steel plant. Another ubiquitous guard shack is halfway down the street.
bcwl75bcb.jpg (79498 bytes) Looking east, directly across the Wall, the sign reads "If the German people are to be spared a third world war, there must be accommodation between the SED (East German Communist Party) and the SPD (Socialist Party Germany- West).
Oh, no! Not another guard shack!
bcwl80mcb.jpg (79473 bytes) A telescopic view from East to West.
bcwl82bcb.jpg (81180 bytes) Trolleys are often upgraded in a stronger economic system.
bcwl85bcb.jpg (70618 bytes) A couple of Vopos on the job.
bcwl90b.jpg (72945 bytes) A couple more Vopos, and another guard shack.  Lots of both around die Mauer.
bcwl95mcb.jpg (87332 bytes) This is a Vopo (Volks Polizei – People’s Police).  It is NOT a proud flasher.
bcwl105scb.jpg (60345 bytes) Looks like two more Vopos on top of the Brandenburg Gate.  See the first picture on this page for a view of the Gate’s block layout near the top.
bcwl110b.jpg (60465 bytes) Potsdamer Platz was really busy before the War and it's really busy now.
Cold war times were not good for Potsdamer Platz.
bcwl115b.jpg (95756 bytes) This shot is believed to have been taken in the Potsdamer Platz area.
Nice tank traps, comrades!
bcwl117b.jpg (98050 bytes) Also believed to have been in the Potsdamer Platz area.
bcwl120b.jpg (90413 bytes) Checkpoint Charlie; known around the world.
bcwl130b.jpg (97147 bytes) Take a road out of town and you will be ‘at the end’.  The sign in the distance is not readable. Could it say, “Welcome to the Worker’s Paradise?”

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