|This is a map of divided Berlin|
It was a pretty and sunny 40 degree Sunday afternoon in Berlin - a great day to catch the Ring Line train over to the American sector and the Allied Museum.
Here is a brief overview of the strange history of the last 70 years of Germany. Germany lost World War II to England - France - USA - and Russia. Together - the victors were called the Allies. They beat Japan - Italy - and Germany. Together those countries were called the Axis.
When the war ended - the Allies decided to divide Germany up into 4 zones to prevent it from starting another war. Each country got a share of Germany to watch over. The capital of Germany was Berlin - so in the deal Berlin was also divided into 4 pieces. Unfortunately Berlin was in the middle of the Russian zone of Germany.
|This English Hastings plane was used to|
haul 7 tons of coal at a time to Berlin.
During the famous Cold War - from 1945 to 1990 - Russia (The Soviet Union) quarantined off their sections of Germany and Berlin to keep their people from running away. In 1961 - a big wall was built right thru the city of Berlin - and the USA - France - and England sections blockaded from getting supplies from the rest of the world. Russia wanted to starve out the sections of Berlin and take them over. But the three countries chose to fly coal - food - and clothing into Berlin with an airlift of planes. It went on for a year - until Russia lifted the blockade.
|This file cabinet contains the names of 10,000,000|
In 1961 - Russia built the famous Berlin Wall to keep their people in. It stood from 1961 until 1990. In that year - Russian President Gorbachov took down the wall. The people of Germany rejoined into one country. Today - Germany is a free Democratic country - with the 4th biggest economy in the world.
The four sections of Berlin have been combined - but each section still has noticeable characteristics from the time of occupation.
We took the Ring Train to the American Section. It seemed obviously better developed from the section we live in - old East Berlin. The Allied Museum seems to be on the grounds of an old American base. The housing seems nicer - the grounds a little better - the streets a little wider.
The Allied Museum covers the time from 1945 to 1990. It particularly pays attention to the time when we were vetting all the German people - to find out which ones were Nazis. They found a card catalog containing the names of 10,000,000 Nazis. I guess your life took a turn for the worse if your name was on one of those cards.
|Madonna Fitness Center - old West Berlin|
|This dress made of Nazi flag|
|Checkpoint Charlie - original gate into East Berlin|