Germany, facts and history in brief
Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
West Berlin was the name given to the western
part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990.
It consisted of the American, British, and French
occupation sectors that were established in 1945.
The Soviet sector became East
Berlin, part of East Germany.
Officially West Berlin was called Berlin (West)
by West Germany while the East German government
referred to West Berlin as Westberlin.
(East Berlin was officially called Berlin
Hauptstadt der DDR - "Berlin capital
of the GDR" - by East Germany.)
The Potsdam Agreement established the legal
framework for the occupation of Germany
in the wake of World War II.
According to the agreement, Germany would
be formally under the sovereignty of the
four major wartime allies -- the United States,
the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet
Union -- until a German government acceptable
to them all could be reconstituted.
Germany would be divided into four sectors,
each administered by one of the allies.
Berlin, though surrounded by the Soviet sector,
would be similarly divided, with the western
allies occupying an enclave consisting of the
western parts of the city.
According to the agreement, the occupation of
Berlin would only end as a result
of a four-power agreement. (This clause did
not apply to Germany as a whole.)
The western allies were guaranteed an air
corridor to their sectors of Berlin, and
the Soviets also informally allowed road
and rail access between West Berlin
and the western parts of Germany.
At first, this arrangement was officially
a temporary administrative expedient, and
all parties declared that Germany and
Berlin would soon be reunited.
However, as the relations between the
western allies and the Soviet Union soured
and the cold war began, the joint administration
of Germany and Berlin broke down.
Soon Soviet-occupied Berlin and western-occupied
Berlin had entirely separate city administrations.
In 1948, the Soviets tried to force the issue
and expel the western allies from Berlin by
imposing a land blockade on the western sectors.
The west responded by using its guaranteed air
corridors to resupply the city in what became
known as the Berlin Airlift.
In May 1949, the Soviets lifted their blockade,
and the future of West Berlin as a separate
jurisdiction was ensured.
By the end of that year, two new states had
been created out of occupied Germany - the Federal
Republic of Germany (West Germany) in the West
and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
in the East - with West Berlin an enclave
surrounded by, but not part of, the latter.
||West Berlin Boroughs
For a more information about
West_Berlin see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
All text is available under the terms of the
GNU Free Documentation License (see
Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December
2005. E. & O.E.
I visited West Berlin during 1978.
It was some experience to get into
West Berlin at the time.
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
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
In hindsight, with the anxiety behind and mostly forgotten,
it was a memorable experience, vividly remembered to
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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