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Cold War Photos.

We lived at Theodor Heuss Platz opposite Edinburgh House. Going into East Berlin was memorable. The difference between East and West was obvious. The former was left in ruins and the latter was renewed. My father having to wear his No 2s. Being “gawped at” (his words) as we walked about.
Probably in the same block of flats as me (fifth floor, facing onto the Kaiserdamm, over the Italian restaurant. Brilliant.)
 

sidsnot

Old-Salt
Probably in the same block of flats as me (fifth floor, facing onto the Kaiserdamm, over the Italian restaurant. Brilliant.)

Sounds like it. We were 1st floor. Opposite the SFB studios. Walk out onto THP The Eternal Flame end towards Ed House and then Summit House.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
No bus load of nurses from Rinteln then?
They never turned up. We had to make do with a coachload of nannies from Norlands. They were much more reliable.

Actually, I'm just recalling an occasion where there was a woman in the bed at Dorset House. She's a generous soul and we have 3 children.

One of which is now also commissioned. The other two are also plugged into the military in different ways.
 
There's an interesting distinction in the way (West-) Berlin is remembered in Germany and outside it. Foreigners tend to remember the cold war stories and, I think, also project backwards from the 1990s and 2000s poor but sexy, hipster capital of the continent era. (West) Germans talk about it being a boring provincial backwater where anyone serious left because everything important was somewhere else - industry, culture, media, politics - until reunification flipped this and made it where you went to move to the big city.

(Obviously the DDR was very different in this respect - everything important was concentrated in "Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR" as you were required to call it, including things like bread.)

That said the changes were well afoot pre-reunification. The Green Party was founded there in 1981 and Kreuzberg already had a reputation both as a hippie/hipster ghetto and as little Turkey in the 80s. (perhaps because the gastarbeiters moved in because everyone else wanted to leave? Although 80s/90s German ideas of multiculturalism were along the lines of "one foreigner lives here, let's make a documentary" so it didn't take much)

We had a Stammtisch at ‘La Vie En Rose’ in the cellar of the Europa Centre. It was chocka every night with Bavarian tourists coming to experience Berlin culture.

The cast of the stage show used to rip the puss out of them.
 
Quick question. I have a friend, well more a friend of a friend really, who was an Ossie.
They both look back on the DDR days with fondness & wish the wall had never fallen.
They miss the law & order and sense of community. We were walking through Alex Platz late one night where we saw a load of drunken loutishness happening. He just looked over with disgust, pointed & said “DDR? Nicht!”.

Her husband was a party member & worked for the government in some capacity. He won’t say what he did & neither will she. All hush hush.
But, he did let slip once after many Radebergers that he had some sort of special passport that allowed him travel worldwide. Blau reiße pass, I think he called it. He hardly speaks any English, so it’s hard to push him.
Any ideas?

In 85 there was no specific time limit you had to leave East Berlin.

We used to visit an Ossie night club, where, because of the Mess Kit and our ability to pay for lots of Eastie ‘champagne’ we were guaranteed to make a bit of a stir.

In short, most of the young Ossies we met saw West Berlin a bit like we might think of Bangkok. An exotic place to visit but not really somewhere they’d want to live.

Remember they could all pick up Western TV. Many had Wessie relatives that would visit. They all saw the drugs, graffiti, litter and unemployment in the West.

They had a (crap) apartment*, a (crap) job and a (crap) car*. These things were all crap but they had them.

The thing that annoyed them the most was that they couldn’t visit on holiday.

Of course, 4 short years later it was the new ability of them to visit the west that got out of control and led to the wall coming down.

This social opportunity came crashing down (in 86 I think) after it was found that one of the subbies from the D&Ds who used to come carousing with us had set up home with an Ossie girl he’d met in the nightclub and was actually spending quite a lot of time there. The rules about how many hours you could spend over there were tightened and you had to be back by 0030 IIRC.

* after being on a waiting list, of course.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
In 85 there was no specific time limit you had to leave East Berlin.

We used to visit an Ossie night club, where, because of the Mess Kit and our ability to pay for lots of Eastie ‘champagne’ we were guaranteed to make a bit of a stir.

In short, most of the young Ossies we met saw West Berlin a bit like we might think of Bangkok. An exotic place to visit but not really somewhere they’d want to live.

Remember they could all pick up Western TV. Many had Wessie relatives that would visit. They all saw the drugs, graffiti, litter and unemployment in the West.

They had a (crap) apartment*, a (crap) job and a (crap) car*. These things were all crap but they had them.

The thing that annoyed them the most was that they couldn’t visit on holiday.

Of course, 4 short years later it was the new ability of them to visit the west that got out of control and led to the wall coming down.

This social opportunity came crashing down (in 86 I think) after it was found that one of the subbies from the D&Ds who used to come carousing with us had set up home with an Ossie girl he’d met in the nightclub and was actually spending quite a lot of time there. The rules about how many hours you could spend over there were tightened and you had to be back by 0030 IIRC.

* after being on a waiting list, of course.

Posted this before but in the summer of 1986 I was watching the Soviet barracks in Naumburg from the other side of the river Saale. A most delightful East German woman pitched up with her 11 year old son and I explained I was using the binoculars to look at the Cathedral but she knew better. The other side of the river was out of bounds to us.

I'd describe her as leftie, Greenie and pacifist in modern terminology. The graffiti on the electricity sub-station behind her, which I reported back to Berlin, said, 'DDR - Drueck durch Russland (Pressure through Russia) and 'biggest prison in the world'.

This is 3 years before the Wall fell.

ETA. I seem to remember she was also a single parent, so feminist would be another useful adjective. Very warm-hearted individual and just the sort you want to be talking to.
 
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We had a Stammtisch at ‘La Vie En Rose’ in the cellar of the Europa Centre. It was chocka every night with Bavarian tourists coming to experience Berlin culture.

The cast of the stage show used to rip the puss out of them.

There's still a fair bit of that tension. Bavarians and Schwaben are Berliners' favourite enemies. Coming here, pushing up rents, talking silly accents, being annoyingly spießbürgerlich.
 
We had to run up and down the roadbed of the Rostock autobahn during its construction, much to the annoyance of the workers,to measure the tanks going into the ground at the petrol stations, the 'other fuel' tanks going in by the parkplatzs,conveniently located a stones throw from the hardened hangars and,taxiways.

An irate VoPo tried to stop us doing it and, was asked...if it was an autobahn or not ! He said yes,we said that under the 'agreement',we were allowed to transit on autobahns,even if they go through PRA's and, left him scratching his head...strange,we never got chased on that 'autobahn'.

This website may be of some interest, showing the German airfields or Autobahn landing strips. I’ve only had a quick glance as work got in the way.

RP.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
There's still a fair bit of that tension. Bavarians and Schwaben are Berliners' favourite enemies. Coming here, pushing up rents, talking silly accents, being annoyingly spießbürgerlich.

The Catholic Bavarian and Austro-Hungarian versus Prussian Protestant Lutheranism remain important dynamics in German politics. Of course Bavaria and the Austrians were on the opposite sides at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, so it's a bit swings and roundabouts.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
This website may be of some interest, showing the German airfields or Autobahn landing strips. I’ve only had a quick glance as work got in the way.

RP.

Cyprus has those, too.
 
Now that I would have paid good money to see

The Maitre d was a creature called ‘Tommy’.

We would sit at the back.

Coach parties of Bavarians would sit gravely to attention, as if they’ve been told they’ve got to experience Berlin cabaret culture.

Tommy would fill the gap between acts with jokes at the expense of the Bavarians.

To quote Dire Straits, Tommy ‘didn’t get one laugh’ from the Bavarians :)

There were two English ‘dancers’ in the cast. One of them really was called Patricia...
 
The Maitre d was a creature called ‘Tommy’.

We would sit at the back.

Coach parties of Bavarians would sit gravely to attention, as if they’ve been told they’ve got to experience Berlin cabaret culture.

Tommy would fill the gap between acts with jokes at the expense of the Bavarians.

To quote Dire Straits, Tommy ‘didn’t get one laugh’ from the Bavarians :)

There were two English ‘dancers’ in the cast. One of them really was called Patricia...
There was a little club/restaurant nearby my place at TH-Platz which had a recurring musical comedy act - not that I understood much of it - which got roars from the packed ham-hock and reisling guzzlers. Occasionally it was directed at us (Brit military objects of derision) - but clearly good naturedly, as a couple of us were local and locally based ex-Brit and could give as good as they got, and the roars from the fleshy ones were just as loud. Most of it was political, but much was real Berliner derision of the non-Berliner. Brilliant.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Another dit from1983. I was warming up my German with 4 Berliners having a beer down by the Havel, a pavement bar by the Freybruecke. They'd all served in the Luftwaffe in WW2.

Essentially it boiled down to, 'Russland war zu gross'.
 
Posted this before but in the summer of 1986 I was watching the Soviet barracks in Naumburg from the other side of the river Saale. A most delightful East German woman pitched up with her 11 year old son and I explained I was using the binoculars to look at the Cathedral but she knew better. The other side of the river was out of bounds to us.

I'd describe her as leftie, Greenie and pacifist in modern terminology. The graffiti on the electricity sub-station behind her, which I reported back to Berlin, said, 'DDR - Drueck durch Russland (Pressure through Russia) and 'biggest prison in the world'.

This is 3 years before the Wall fell.

ETA. I seem to remember she was also a single parent, so feminist would be another useful adjective. Very warm-hearted individual and just the sort you want to be talking to.
The Ossis certainly had a sense of humour, if cynical. There was a joke going around along the lines of: "what's the difference between a handarbeiter (tradie) and the Soviet Army? The first never arrives and the second never leaves". Then of course, just after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Ossis would tell you that the CA on the soldiers' shoulder boards stood for 'Camping Afghanistan'. German schadenfreude, the best sort.
 
Another dit from1983. I was warming up my German with 4 Berliners having a beer down by the Havel, a pavement bar by the Freybruecke. They'd all served in the Luftwaffe in WW2.

Essentially it boiled down to, 'Russland war zu gross'.
Did you ever meet a German who admitted serving on the western front? I mean one who didn't surrender at the first opportunity, allegedly?
 
There was always something to do in Berlin:

Queen's Birthday Parade on the Maifeld:

img088b a.jpg


Allied Forces Day Parade:

img762.jpg


Concerts such as Ian Dury and the Blockheads:

img951.jpg
 
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