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Posted by
7639 posts

Good. I hated seeing them there, looking so tacky.

Posted by
1378 posts

Good. I hated seeing them there, looking so tacky.

The tourists or the soldiers?

Posted by
1378 posts

Sure, how can they look as threatening as in times when the Berlin Wall was up?

Had intensive days discussing and telling my Berlin Wall story (expeience from West teenager perspective) with guests and also journalists, e.g. Euronews or FoxNews.

Posted by
1894 posts

I'm in Berlin diligently reading all the open air exhibition boards (and watching a video or two), adding to my knowledge of the opening of the wall. I've learned a lot from those boards.

Posted by
30928 posts

Although lots of tourists seem to enjoy getting photos with the fake soldiers and in one sense they were providing "employment", I'm glad to see they were banned. Their presence was indeed tacky and almost embarrassing to watch.

Posted by
1378 posts

@Dave: It was really an interesting week. The official Berlin project Mauerfall30 also assembled interviews with contemporary witnesses from both sides of the wall, available in German. I was interviewed as well.

People who are interested in Berlin during Cold War find on website The Berlin Wall a real good online documentation in English. It was made for 25th anniversary but all information is still valid. rbb is a credible source: public German TV / radio in Berlin & Brandenburg.

Posted by
1894 posts

@MarkK... I remember seeing your picture as part of the open air exhibit at Breitscheidplatz. Thanks for the links. It's going to take a while to get through the Berlin Wall website, but it looks exceptional.

Posted by
4108 posts

Perhaps they should have had some Vopos (East German guards) that imitated shooting people trying to get to freedom!

Posted by
12086 posts

Good that they are gone. I'm glad. I only went to Checkpoint Charlie literally a couple of times. If they were there then, don't recall seeing them, I didn't pay any attention to them.

I always saw them in front of the Brandenburg Gate where tourists were charmed by having pictures taken with these fake soldiers.

Posted by
3916 posts

Have they managed to get of the hustlers? I was there a few weeks ago watching a group of 'strangers' engaged in a a game of Guess What Cup The Ball Is Under, money rapidly changing hands, the apparent ease of seeing which cup the ball was under and a more obvious scam than any that could be imagined. I stood and watched in amusement thinking that no-one is going to be fooled by it but I was proved wrong. In no time a young lad aged around 18 handed over a €50 note and guessed wrong. He protested the unfairness and bizarrely was given his money back, perhaps they had a momentary sense of compassion.

Posted by
30 posts

Wonderful to hear that this practice has stopped. My wife and I were in Berlin for a week in early August. The only time I felt like I was back in the US was when I was "propositioned" by a so-called US Army soldiers to have a photo taken at Checkpoint Charlie. It felt like Times Square in NYC being hawked by the cartoon characters in Times Square. At least we had our first currywurst at the stand nearby where we got all the free views of the Checkpoint that we wanted. - no charge. Frankly the hungover, unshaven guys in US uniforms we encountered that day insult those who served in the 1960s to the fall of the wall and those who serve today. You'd think there would've been a dress code so these guys would have looked more like soldiers rather than hungover clubbers.