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RCT Saturday visits to East Berlin

Whilst serving with the RAF in 1980, we took a trip into East Berlin. We started in the West at the Russian war memorial about 500 yards from the Brandenburg Gate. We then crossed into the East and I am sure we visited 3 places, the first was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Unter den Linden, then the Russian War Memorial in Treptower but cannot remember the 3rd. Any help will be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
 
I am sure we visited 3 places, the first was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Unter den Linden, then the Russian War Memorial in Treptower but cannot remember the 3rd. Any help will be gratefully appreciated.

Was it a bar of some description :):)
 
Judging from the other locations that you visited, it was probably the third (least known) Soviet War Memorial in Berlin. This is located in the Schönholzer Heide in Niederschönhausen/Pankow in the north of Berlin.
 
Thanks for the reply, I thought that too and took a trip out there last year and eliminated it. As the trips were controlled by Eastern authorities I strongly suspect it was for benefit of improving their profile in the West.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
 

Ned_Seagoon

War Hero
Although never RCT, I was a guide for several of those Saturday tours in 81-82. It might take some time, but I will try to remember where I hid my tour notes last time ComdHomeFront insisted that I got rid of more of my military archives.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
Whilst serving with the RAF in 1980, we took a trip into East Berlin. We started in the West at the Russian war memorial about 500 yards from the Brandenburg Gate. We then crossed into the East and I am sure we visited 3 places, the first was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Unter den Linden, then the Russian War Memorial in Treptower but cannot remember the 3rd. Any help will be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

Mike

Mmm. Did that tour once, but must admit I don't recall each point on the itinerary. Neue Wache on Unter den Linden, yes, and if you were lucky you'd be there when a new bride was laying her bouquet on the memorial and/or as the sentries changed. (Watch that right hand sentry activate a button with his toe to co-ordinate a change arms with the left hand sentry.) The full guard changed weekly, and on a Thursday IIRC, Wachregiment Friedrich Engels, lots of bands, Jingling Johnnies and goose stepping. The memorial was marked up to the victims of Fascism, not an Unknown Soldier.
Treptow Park - yes, unforgettable, and time for a quick gluhwein on a freezing Berlin day. But those are the only two stops that I recall. Other places were pointed out as you drove past - Stasi HQ and the derelict Great Synagogue on Oranienberger Strasse spring to mind.
 
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Thanks for the education. It was a few years ago.

I don't remember looking inside in 1980 but do remember the goose stepping. These days their is a replica of Käthe Kollwitz's sculpture Mother with her Dead Son which she completed after her son's death in WW!
 

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Thanks for the reply, I thought that too and took a trip out there last year and eliminated it. As the trips were controlled by Eastern authorities I strongly suspect it was for benefit of improving their profile in the West.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

In that case, there's a good chance it was the Museum der bedingungslosen Kapitulation des faschistischen Deutschland im Großen Vaterländischen Krieg in the former officers mess of the former Wehrmacht Pionierschule in Karlshorst. I'm sure they would have delighted in showing you the room in which the Fascist Beasts had surrendered to the glorious Red Army.

Incidentally, this was completely reorganised in the mid-nineties (in German/Russian co-operation) and is an excellent museum.
 

SUU23

LE
I came up to Gatow from Wildenrath and did the East tour, the third visit we did was the Neue Wacht on Unter den Linden
 
Mmm. Did that tour once, but must admit I don't recall each point on the itinerary. Neue Wache on Unter den Linden, yes, and if you were lucky you'd be there when a new bride was laying her bouquet on the memorial and/or as the sentries changed. (Watch that right hand sentry activate a button with his toe to co-ordinate a change arms with the left hand sentry.) The full guard changed weekly, and on a Thursday IIRC, Wachregiment Friedrich Engels, lots of bands, Jingling Johnnies and goose stepping. The memorial was marked up to the victims of Fascism, not an Unknown Soldier.
Treptow Park - yes, unforgettable, and time for a quick gluhwein on a freezing Berlin day. But those are the only two stops that I recall. Other places were pointed out as you drove past - Stasi HQ and the derelict Great Synagogue on Oranienberger Strasse spring to mind.

The Sov 'installation' in Treptow Park was known by East Berliners, IIRC, as the Memorial to the Unknown Rapist.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
The Sov 'installation' in Treptow Park was known by East Berliners, IIRC, as the Memorial to the Unknown Rapist.

My recollection is that the Unknown Rapist memorial was the one in Tiergarten with the two T-34 tanks. That was just inside the British Sector, but had Red Army sentries. About 1970 a West Berliner shot one of the sentries. When he was caught the Soviets insisted that he be tried by British Court Martial.
 
My recollection is that the Unknown Rapist memorial was the one in Tiergarten with the two T-34 tanks. That was just inside the British Sector, but had Red Army sentries. About 1970 a West Berliner shot one of the sentries. When he was caught the Soviets insisted that he be tried by British Court Martial.

You are, of course, completely correct. Russia is not a fan of the epithet:

 
In that case, there's a good chance it was the Museum der bedingungslosen Kapitulation des faschistischen Deutschland im Großen Vaterländischen Krieg in the former officers mess of the former Wehrmacht Pionierschule in Karlshorst. I'm sure they would have delighted in showing you the room in which the Fascist Beasts had surrendered to the glorious Red Army.

Incidentally, this was completely reorganised in the mid-nineties (in German/Russian co-operation) and is an excellent museum.

I was wrong. I have just read the following

The Four Powers Protocol guaranteed the occupying powers freedom of movement within the boundaries of Greater Berlin. The British demonstrated their rights with Flag Tours and sight seeing trips to the Soviet sector. Attempts to visit the World War Two museum at Karlshorst were blocked by the Soviets.

Source:

Durie, William. The British Garrison Berlin 1945-1994: A Pictorial Historiography of the British Occupation. Vergangenheitsverlag, Berlin, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5
**Page 80**
 
You are, of course, completely correct. Russia is not a fan of the epithet:

Good to see the BBC had a sense of humour. I']f I was the journalist, I'd just be a bit careful of accepting any drinks from heavily-muscled Russian 'tourists'.
 
I was wrong. I have just read the following



Source:

Durie, William. The British Garrison Berlin 1945-1994: A Pictorial Historiography of the British Occupation. Vergangenheitsverlag, Berlin, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5
**Page 80**

Visits to the Karlshorst museum were certainly not blocked for Flag Tours in my time, 1979 and 1980.
 
Visits to the Karlshorst museum were certainly not blocked for Flag Tours in my time, 1979 and 1980.

Hmm, I'm in a bit of a quandry here. You, as a Zeitzeugen, are to be taken seriously. On the other hand, the author (who was a photographer for British Forces Berlin) and his text editor Robert Corbett (GOC British Sector Berlin 1989-1990) are to be taken equally seriously!
 

Ned_Seagoon

War Hero
Hmm, I'm in a bit of a quandry here. You, as a Zeitzeugen, are to be taken seriously. On the other hand, the author (who was a photographer for British Forces Berlin) and his text editor Robert Corbett (GOC British Sector Berlin 1989-1990) are to be taken equally seriously!
Perhaps this is the difference between what a Flag Tour could achieve as an official duty conducted by resident troops exercising their rights under the Quadripartite Agreement, compared to the Saturday Tours which were effectively an educational/recreational activity conducted for visitors.
 

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