female cialis long term side effects When we travel we like to participate in festivals, local events, things that are different and not necessarily touristy. So, the hubs likes to run marathons. I don’t get it but he loves them. Running in another city helps us to satisfy the need to be with the locals and for him to run his socks off.
cheapest generic viagra drugs This fall he ran the Berlin marathon. He did quite well, and I must say I was very proud of myself to navigate the city, alone, to cheer for him at different mile markers.
brand viagra buy online pharmacy First let me start by saying that the culture of North Germany vs Bavaria is almost as distinct as the North/South of the US. They are very very different, but still Germany. And while I love Bavaria, I did not expect to love Berlin as much as I did.
enter site Hubs registers for marathon and off we go to Berlin.
The history of Berlin blew me away. Everything I thought I knew about Berlin was wrong. So very wrong. These are the things I wish I knew before visiting Berlin.
viagra drug contraindications Checkpoint Charlie
I started to get confused when we went to Checkpoint Charlie. Everyone said it was mainly a tourist area, and it was. It is a replica of what once existed and the stores around it are very touristy (think Ripley’s). However, there is a great historical display of a timeline just by the check-point that illustrates what the check-point is all about. And this is where I started to scratch my head…
Checkpoint Charlie closed in June 1990. Wait… what?? I thought this was post WWII stuff? 1990?
It was established in August 1961. Wait.. what? WWII ended in 1945. Wasn’t the wall put up just afterwards? No…
Wasn’t Charlie some guy that… NO… Think military. A, B, C. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…
- Checkpoint Alpha was in the British side. This link (HERE) sums it up much better than I can, and they have some pretty cool photos too.
- Checkpoint Bravo was the main autobahn border crossing between West Berlin and GDR. It is known as Drewitz because that is the closest town to it. Here is a pretty good map: LINK
Why do we all know about Checkpoint Charlie??
Checkpoint Charlie had a few things making it popular:
- It was on the American side of Berlin
- Right in the middle
- Only place that East Germany allowed Allied people (diplomats, etc) to pass into Berlin’s Soviet sector
- French and British also had armies there to help monitor traffic across the border
- And I think we can all agree it had a catchy name
Essentially if you were in West Berlin and you needed to get to East Berlin, you would need to go through Checkpoint Charlie.
Now that you know “what” Checkpoint Charlie is, let’s discuss it’s significance.
A bit of Geography
First let’s pause and make sure you understand something. Berlin sits in northern Germany. Germany was divided into four parts and Berlin sits in the USSR section. THEN they also divided Berlin into four sections. So, no the country was not split down the middle and one side is East Germany and the other West Germany. West Berlin sat in the middle of the USSR Controlled Germany.
Berlin was NOT 50% in East Germany and 50% in West Germany. It was 100% in the East Germany and controlled 50 % by US/Britain/France and 50 % by USSR.
Let’s talk about the Berlin Wall
There are a ton of reading materials out there on the Wall. I thought I did my research. I thought I understood what it was all about. Nothing can prepare you for seeing it.
I also think that there are some assumptions when you read about the wall that you know basic 1960 history. Here is what you need to know:
WW II was from 1939 to 1945
- There were two groups… (now pay attention!)
- Allies (major players)
- Britain,France,US & Soviet Union
- Axis (major players)
- Germany, Italy & Japan
- Allies (major players)
- There were two groups… (now pay attention!)
- July – August 1945
- Agreed to many many things, but the one you need to know for this is that it divided the country of Germany into East for the USSR and West for USA, France and Britain. Read more about it here.
- Note that the formation of the new country lines was determined in Feb 1945 (before the war ended) at the Yalta Conference.
East Germany is formed
- Also known as the German Democratic Republic or GDR
- The Allied Control Council (ACC) is formed for the four countries to rule the area cohesively.
- USSR leaves the ACC in 1948
Cold war “begins”
- There is no official date on when it began. It is generally recognized as the time between the end of WWII and 1990.
Stalin (March) Note – March 1952
- Stalin writes a letter to the ACC asking for the unification of Germany
- The US wants West Germany to be stable so they ignore the letter to stall. They determined that Stalin is not serious. Stalin sends several other letters.
- The only thing you really need to know (unless you want to spend a lot of time reading) is that there is, even today, a great debate on whether Stalin was serious in wanting to join the two or he was trying to drive even a further wedge.
- Soviet leaders meet and determine that there should be restrictions on going back and forth between east and west.
Uprising of 1953
- East Germany construction workers held a strike on June 16, 1953. By the next day, it was a full uprising of the GDR.
- East Germany responded with tanks and violence.
- Uprisings spread across Germany for several days after. The German youth began protesting more and more.
1961 – The wall is built
Nov 9 1989 – The wall comes down
The official reason the wall was built was to keep out the capitalistic ideals of western Germany. But that wasn’t really it. It was really built to stop the influx of refugees fleeing the country. The history channel has a great write up on this HERE.
So, if the wall was just in Berlin, why didn’t people just go around the wall??
Remember that the wall only kept the Western Berlins out of East Berlin, not dividing East and West Germany.
The wall essentially sealed the West Berliners into West Berlin. Here is the best map I have found on it HERE.
viagra drug classification Berlin History Summarized…
The Allies win WWII and decide to divide Germany. The French, British and US take half and USSR takes the other half. Just to be safe, they also divide up Berlin in the same manner. The then USSR decides it doesn’t like the US (and French/Britain) and begins to start conflict (although this is greatly debated). The youth in the USSR portion of Germany start rebelling, so they build a wall around the Western Berlin to keep the Eastern citizens in and West out. If you are west Berlin, you can move in and out of East/West Berlin, but Eastern citizens are to stay on that side. The wall shows up, checkpoints are created for people to move in and out, and they remain separate states until 1990.
I hope this clarified things from you.
There is a tremendous about of research there, so please continue to read. If you want to share with me in the comments, please do so.
canada viagra generic And on a lighter note, here are some photos from the marathon!