Recalls the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Click on the signs
for an enlarged view.
As part of a commemoration
by the German department of the fall of the Berlin Wall 20
years ago this month, a replica of the sign once found at
border crossings from West Berlin to East Berlin has been
installed on Chapin Lawn near the Campus Center.
The sign, which bears the wording
of signs near the Berlin Wall, will be on display through
November 9, the historic day in 1989 when crowds of East
Germans were allowed to climb over and cross the wall into
West Berlin, paving the way for German reunification.
This is a replica of the sign
that stood at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, the fabled border
crossing at which members of the Allied Forces—the
United States, Britain, and France—had to cross from West
to East Berlin. Similar signs separated the Allied and Soviet
sectors after the division of Germany into two states, the
Federal Republic of Germany (FDR) and the German Democratic
Republic (GDR), in 1949. Signs and checkpoints represented
a demarcation rather than a barrier until work on the Berlin
Wall began on August 13, 1961. Checkpoint Charlie—where "Charlie"
stands for the letter "c" in the NATO alphabet—became
the site of a stand-off between Soviet and Allied tanks on
October 25, 1961, and thereafter a symbol of the Cold War.
It is familiar from pictures and movies and serves for instance
as the setting for the opening scene of Martin Ritt’s film
adaptation of The Spy Who Came In From
The Cold (1965), the
spy novel by John Le Carré. The Berlin Wall divided East
and West Berlin—as
did the fortified border between East and West Germany—from
August 13, 1961, until the borders were opened on November
9, 1989. East and West Germany were reunified on October