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East Berlin

East Germany

Germany, facts and history in brief

East Berlin
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990.

It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945.

The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a de facto part of West Germany.

East Berlin was the capital of East Germany.
From August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989 it was separated from West Berlin by the Berlin Wall.
The East Germans called East Berlin just "Berlin" or sometimes "Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR" (Berlin, capital of the GDR).

East Berlin comprised the boroughs of
Prenzlauer Berg
On October 3, 1990 West Germany and East Germany were united, thus formally ending the existence of East Berlin.

Occupied Berlin East Berlin Boroughs

For a more information about East_Berlin see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Berlin) December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

About Wikipedia

This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.

There were some funny ways to get into East Berlin when Sarolta and I visited West Berlin during 1978.

Well, it looked quite a funny experience to me at the time.

It was some experience to get into West Berlin to start with.

Sarolta, my daughter and I spent some time exploring Europe in 1978.

We had a 3 months Eurail Pass that we used in countries that were part of the system at the time and we've visited some countries before and after the duration of our Pass. We visited the British Isles and the Irish Republic before using the Brit Rail Pass also Hungary and Romania afterwards.

Travelling to West Berlin added that little extra to our experiences.

Our Eurail Pass only got us to the East German border and we had to buy additional tickets to get us into the heart of East Germany, where 'West' Berlin was.

After passing the border we were instructed to keep away from the windows and do not use cameras or they will be confiscated.

We were practically 'prisoners' for the 4 hours our train took to reach 'West Berlin'.

Of course after exploring 'West Berlin' we had an urge to see 'East Berlin' as well.

To get to 'East Berlin' we had to get a certain 'Underground' train which was going on the surface most of the time anyway, change at a certain place to another one to end up at one of the official 'Checkpoint' at the Friedrichstrasse Raiway Station.

Getting a temporary visa was another typical communist bureaucratic experience especially for me a former Hungarian political refugee.

It was muck like entering a 'Lion's Den' during the 'hey-day' of the 'Cold War'.

Leaving East Berlin by the way we came was another memorable experience as we were interrogated at length as on our entering about the purpose and length of our visit.
Especially questioning the brevity, (about 15-16 hours) of our visit.

The contrast between the two Berlins were astounding, the solemnity or drabness of the 'east' pitted against the vibrancy of the 'west'.

Frankly I couldn't get out of the place fast enough, I was shaking in my boots or shoes to be more precise most of the time and felt like somebody was watching us all the time.

In hindsight, with the anxiety behind and mostly forgotten, it was a memorable experience, vividly remembered to this day.

During our departure we were questioned about what we were taking out and trying to anticipate and avoid any trouble we were travelling very light, but I did get a bit nervous and trying not to show it, when I was asked about if I was taking out any East German money which had to be exchanged at 'their' rate or confiscated, they especially mentioned coins as well.

I was carrying a good handful of different coins in my pocket and being a coin collector, I was hoping to keep and add to my collection.

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.


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