Sunday, September 24, 2006

Checkpoint Charlie

I broke this one up into two posts owing to its importance. This is Checkpoint Charlie, "Ground zero" during the Cold War. This was the place of maximum drama of that war, where two diametrically opposed systems eyed one another from the fall of Berlin.

This sign which everyone who crossed saw, has been preserved, (in perpetuity - one hopes). You are looking from the West into the newly revitalized East. When the gig was up, and East Berliners started fleeing en masse for the West, the Soviets put up the wall where some 169 people were shot on sight. Guards were given bonuses and extra vacation for such murders.

Here is a typical American farmboy, in the uniform of the period, who guarded this post for all those years in that "Long, twilight struggle".

Here are actors, (I have to assume - no decorum or military bearing) representing the UK and the US. Allies which, not for the first time, (nor the last time), found themselves on the right side of history, and not coincidentally.

US/UK Alliance - 6
Evil - 0

Here is their counterpart, the farmboy from the Urals. This view is the flipside of the previous billboard, looking West. I hope he's well and had many children. They're free now.

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