For most people from the West aged over 40, Checkpoint Charlie has a certain ring to it, mostly of spy stories and Cold War intrigue. And certainly this border crossing, which was the main gateway between the two Berlins for most non-Germans, and announced by dramatic “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR” signs, was the scene of repeated border incidents during the Cold War.
American and Soviet tanks faced each other for several days here in October 1961, and several East Germans were shot here during escape attempts.
A replica border crossing now marks the original site and some wall mounted information borders on the adjacent Zimmerstrasse tell the story of The Wall. But many of the most interesting human stories associated with the Wall are told in the Mauermuseum (Wall Museum), beside the checkpoint. Exhibits here tell the story of scores of escape attempts, many great tributes to ingenuity, and involving the likes of false trunks, plastic cows, escape tunnels, home-made aircraft and converted cars.