Results 11-19of 19 Reviews
March 11, 2005
People dug tunnels and smuggled themselves in cable reels, suitcases, speaker boxes, and automobiles. Some of the effort in its presentation could use improvement with a larger type and clearer displays, with a consistent, easy-to-read typestyle and a country flag symbol to denote language.A museum souvenir shop is available. Complimentary lockers are available to secure your jackets/bags with a €2 coin downstairs. Entrance fee is €9.50. A guard's station is recreated outside the museum, with an oversized portrait photo of a guard overhead.Daily 9am-10pmTel: 253 72 50Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
U6 to Kochstr
From journal BER
by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
October 23, 2003
As for the museum itself, it's an eerie mix of history, art, and philosophy. There are the necessary explorations as to what the Wall was and what it signified. There are propaganda posters left from the days of the Wall, as well as pictures of the graffiti and art that had been put on the Wall over the years.
One room specializes in the attempts -- both successful and failed -- to get over the Wall. In this section, there are fake car trunks, makeshift hang-gliders, and altered luggage that could bring to mind the likes of James Bond.
From journal No wall, one city
New York, New York
March 31, 2003
Upon entering, one is confronted with staggering statistics: WWII left 55 million people dead--6 million of whom were Jews; 21 million Russians (12 % of the population); 7 million Germans (10 % of the population), 6 million Poles (14%); 2 million Slavs (13%); plus 20 million of mixed ethnicity. This war-ravaged society was the stark breeding ground for the Cold War. Right after these numbers, there is a short biography on Albrecht Haushofer (1903-1945; the man shot in the neck without trial for writing Moabiter Sonette, a testimony of resistance against the Soviet NS-regime), while in prison.
The museum traces the formation of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), a combination of the KPD (Communists) and SPD (Social Democrats), despite the fact that 85% of Western Berliners voted against its creation (those in the East weren’t allowed to vote). It then covers the Soviet Blockade and the SED’s subsequent self-declared parliamentary leadership, from which the GDR was born. Soon after, the notorious Berlin Wall was erected. After covering this, most of the museum focuses on locals’ escape attempts.
There are a myriad of exhibits on near-escapes, successful escapes, harrowing encounters with Soviet officers, etc. An escape car stands in the middle of the downstairs room--in its trunk are suitcases that would have had their sides cut out and have been pushed together as one so that a girl could curl up inside. You’ll also find handmade, faux-Soviet officer uniforms; pliers and tools actually used by escapees; and shovels for digging tunnels. One account involves a group of eight elderly people who were spurned by younger escapees as being "too old"--they proved them wrong by digging their own tunnel under the wall and making it high enough so that their 80-year-old wives could walk though instead of crawling.
There is a small room upstairs that covers the fall of the Wall and the nation’s subsequent rejoicing. Throughout, there are many photos of a destroyed Berlin, which are especially striking in contrast to the modern built-up city now surrounding the museum. There is also various artwork inspired by the Wall and the political climate. Although hectic and cramped, this is a very worthwhile and touching museum.
"We Berliners will not allow ourselves to be an object of barter in these dealings and negotiations. We can neither be negotiated nor sold. It is simply not possible to make a shabby compromise over the heads of such a brave, persevering people . . . !"
--Ernst Reuter, Mayor of Berlin, 1948
Hours: Daily: 9am to 10pm
Prices: 7 euros, 4.50 reduced
From journal BERLIN
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
March 13, 2003
Once I found my way over to Checkpoint Charlie, I started thinking about how strange it must now seem to those who were stationed here back when it was a boiling pot of political anxiety. What used to be a tension-riddled area has been turned into a requisite sightseeing stop for any visitor to Berlin (myself included). Where once troops stood with their guns loaded, looking out at the enemy a few hundred yards away, now families happily take their pictures in front of the reconstructed American guardhouse (again, I, too, had my picture taken here). This can be said about any famous military spot of old, but to stop and think about why this place has gained notoriety is really something else. Though this is a Cold War–era landmark, I kept wondering what my grandfather, who was wounded in WWII, would feel walking around this area. I can’t imagine.
I broke out in goose bumps more than once as I slowly absorbed the weary sense of restlessness that filled the air. Gift shops and cafés can’t hide it—so much has happened here, a mere face-lift can’t make time forget Checkpoint Charlie’s past. The photos inside the U.S. guardhouse relay just how nerve-racking it was during the U.S. and Soviet face-off. Reminders are littered everywhere, from the last Soviet flag to fly to artsy chunks of the Berlin Wall to the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum. Don’t limit yourself to the museum when you’re here—take some time to walk around the whole area surrounding Checkpoint Charlie, thinking about the hefty military presence that was here not too long ago.
Just down the street from Checkpoint Charlie, at the corner of Wilhelmstraße and Zimmerstraße, is the Topography of Terror, 200 meters of the Berlin Wall that mark the border between Mitte and Kreuzberg. This section of the Wall was declared a historical monument and will forever be preserved as a reminder of the division this city endured for 38 years. A chronological history of the wall is presented through amazing photographs and German text in a trench on one side of the wall (audio tours in both German and English are available at the information center). These photos were so powerful—some of them made me wonder how the hell a photographer could have taken such horrific pictures with a steady hand. For information on guided group tours, call (030) 254 86 703, or fax (030) 262 71 56.
I remember watching Berliners break down the wall on TV when I was a kid. To now walk around here was amazing.
From journal Wait a minute, was I really in Berlin?
Northern Va Suburbs of DC, Virginia
February 18, 2003
One person was in the front of Volkswagen beetle, one lady smuggled her three-year-old kid in a backpack the size of the school book bag. Hard to believe these things until you see them.
From journal "Achtung Baby" Berlin in October
February 7, 2003
There are a number of really interesting exhibits here, including some art exhibits and many historical documents and photos related to the Berlin Wall and separated Berlin. There are many exhibits related to ways that people managed to go across the wall, as well as exhibits on the construction of it.
From journal Weekend in Berlin
June 4, 2002
The Potsdam Conference split the city into four sectors to be administered by the Americans, British, French, and Soviets as a symbol of peace and unity. The ideal would not last long, as suspicion soon set in between the Soviets and the western allies, and Berlin became the front line of the Cold War. The city was effectively divided in two in June 1948 when the Americans, British, and French established a joint administration for their sectors with a single currency; the Soviets immediately responded by blockading the city. West Berlin was kept going by an American and British airlift. During that time, everything the city needed, including a power station, had to be flown in. International pressure caused the Soviets to drop the blockade after 11 months, but worse was to follow.
On the night of August 13th, 1961, in the space of 6 hours, 155km of barbed wire went up, sealing off West Berlin to its East German cousin and dividing friends and families for the next 28 years. This wire soon developed into a wall, a wall that became the greatest symbol of east-west rivalry. Parts of the wall survive to this day, including a number of pieces around Potsdamer Platz, including some fine murals and a guard tower, and a lengthy section outside the Topography of Terror exhibition on Niederkirchnerstrasse. Also worth looking out for is the Communist entertainment complex Palace of the Republic on the site of the old royal palace on Unter den Linden. Currently closed for the removal of asbestos, this palace included cafés, bars, a cinema, a bowling alley, and, the ultimate in mindless entertainment, the East German government.
The history of the Soviet repression is commemorated at Haus am Checkpoint Charlie (open 9am to 10pm, daily entrance €7 ($9.01)). Outside is a reconstruction of the famous border crossing point on its original location, inside is a collection of photographs, documents, films, and artifacts relating to escape attempts (the building itself was used as a lookout post for escape helpers), the art of (and on) the wall, the worldwide struggle for human rights, and the wall itself. The museum was established in 1962 and can seem a bit outdated in places, but it is still well worth a look.
The regime effectively ended on November 9, 1989, when, during a live televised press conference, Politburo member Gunter Schabowski started adlibbing and accidentally announced the immediate end to travel restrictions (oops!). The entire population of East Berlin took to the streets, overwhelming the surprised border guards and throwing open the gates.
From journal Berlin: Gateway To Eastern Europe
November 1, 2000
The story boards are interesting-they tell both the history of events leading up to the Wall as well as the heroic struggles of the people. There is also a small part of the Wall standing outside the exit, orginal signage from Checkpoint Charlie, and the tools from various escapes. Actual artifacts are on display, such as the hot air balloon, various cars with traps installed to carry men and women across the border. The stories of escape are adventurous and gut-wrenching. There are many films and video coverage from those tumultuous days. Chairs are provided in front of several TV's in various rooms.
There is a small stretch of the Wall remaining a short distance from the museum, down Zimmerstrasse. There is also a small standing piece at the exit of the museum, right outside the door. In addition, there is a small cafe and a museum store. Small plastic boxes containing a chip of the Wall are for sale-it'll be up to you to decide if they are genuine or not.
After you experience this museum, you will understand how different things used to be. When you stand facing the Brandenburg Gate or look out from the Reichstag dome, you will realize how different things used to be not so long ago.
From journal The New Berlin
Overland Park, Kansas
September 4, 2000
The museum is open from 9 am to 10 pm daily. The cost is 7.5 DM
From journal The New Capital