These images were sent to the Dossier by a German visitor, Peter Hegenbarth, a resident of Kissinger Strasse in Berlin, who wrote me the email from an office just above where Checkpoint Charlie used to be. They are of the grand nineteenth century house on Bleibtreustrasse, number 49, in the Charlottenberg district.
Eagle-eye readers who've seen the bootleg copies of the never-repeated Granada TV Game, Set and Match series from 1988 may recognise it as the location of Pension Hennig, the German family hotel in which Bernard Samson grew up, and in which he stayed when on a mission "drüben" ("over there") in East Berlin.
"I came from the Palmer movies to read the books behind them. So then, I took a great interest in the other of Deighton’s books which were made into movies. Hence, to the 'Game Set & Match' TVseries that I found on YouTube. And after that, I found my way to Dossier dossier and its page on the series."
The hotel featured in the opening titles of the TV series and in the books, it is to his old childhood room, underneath the roof - with no bathroom - that Bernard Samson often retreated after a mission. A great example of a Prussian family townhouse that was converted into a pension.
To me, who crossed the border into East Germany to attend an academic conference there during early 1980s, it is not Samson's association that links me to the images, but the fact that once the symbol of Cold War-Checkpoint Charlie, is now a chapter in the Cold War history.ReplyDelete
Then, looking from West Germany one afternoon, at this ominous cross point, which stood at the border dividing freedom and occupation, I wondered whether this cross point will be there for many decades to come, and whether, it will give me an opportunity to explain to my kid (not born then!) the meaning of freedom. But, a decade later, on our family visit to Berlin, I could, pointing to the remnant of Checkpoint Charlie, explain to my young son, what it was, what it represented, and what my thoughts were a decade earlier.
"These images were sent to the Dossier by a German visitor, Peter Hegenbarth, a resident of Kissinger Strasse in Berlin, who wrote me the email from an office just above where Checkpoint Charlie used to be"ReplyDelete
I posted a version of the following the other day, which has not appeared!
The above takes me back to early 1980s when I had to participate in an academic conference held in East Germany. I had friends in West Berlin then, who advised me the best crossing point. After my visit to East Germany, I went around in West Berlin, and looked at Checkpoint Charlie from a distance .
I could experience what it meant to be a divided city
Later,I had the opportunity to visit unified Berlin in 1990s, with my family, and showed to my young son the remnant of Checkpoint Charlie and could explain to him what it represented.
As a background, while studying and working in the USA during early 1970s, I could watch quite a few news items regarding the Cold War with focus of the Berlin divide, shots of the Wall, the checkpoints and the American responsibility to ensure that West Berlin continued to be visited by visitors.