USCOB
US Brigade Commanders Berlin
822nd MP Co.
16th Constabulary Squadron
759th MP BN
287th MP Co.
287th MP Co. BASC/AKA
42nd Military Police Group
6th Infantry Regiment
502nd Infantry Regiment
94th & 320th FA
F. Co. 40th Armor
43rd Chemical Det.
20th Engineer Company
42nd Engineer Company
BBde Duty Train
Spy of FSB

Checkpoint Alpha

GERMAN VERSION

The Border checkpoint Helmstedt–Marienborn (German: Grenzübergang Helmstedt-Marienborn), named Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn (GÜSt) (border crossing Marienborn) by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was the largest and most important border crossing on the Inner German border during the division of Germany. Due to its geographical location, allowing for the shortest land route between West Germany and West Berlin, most transit traffic to and from West Berlin used the Helmstedt-Marienborn crossing. Most travel routes from West Germany to East Germany and Poland also used this crossing. The border crossing existed from 1945 to 1990 and was situated near the East German village of Marienborn at the edge of the Lappwald. The crossing interrupted the Bundesautobahn 2 between the junctions Helmstedt-Ost and Ostingersleben.
First checkpoints
A checkpoint was established on the site on 1 July 1945, which was on the demarcation line between the British and Soviet occupation zones. Its scope included the interzonal railway traffic as well as the motor vehicle traffic on the Reichsautobahn between Hanover and Berlin. The checkpoint buildings were located directly on the zones' border, and consisted of little more than temporary wooden buildings.
The most important inner-German checkpoint, the Autobahn crossing at Helmstedt was named Alpha by the Western Allies. Its counterpart in the Berlin southern borough of Dreilinden was named Bravo. The connection between these checkpoints gained its importance from being the shortest connection between the western zones and Berlin, at 170 km (110 mi). During the Berlin Blockade, which endured from June 1948 to May 1949, the Soviet checkpoint was closed.
From 1950 onwards, the East German Grenzpolizei (later the Grenztruppen der DDR) performed the border control on the eastern side of the checkpoint, with the exception of the Soviet military, which escorted Allied military traffic to and from West Berlin. Due to the increasing tensions between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the border crossing was expanded extensively and security was increased during the following years. However, the original checkpoint was eventually regarded too unsafe to operate efficiently.
Between 1972 and 1974, the GDR erected a new control portal on a 35 hectare field situated on a hill near Marienborn, about 1.5 km east of the border. The control portal was staffed with as many as 1,000 passport control, customs and border police employees. The buildings were linked with an underground tunnel system through which military or police units could reach the control portal quickly and secretly.
The Western Allies kept control of their checkpoint on the western side, with small garrisons of French, British and American troops stationed in Helmstedt. The West German Bundesgrenzschutz had assumed control of the operative controls on the western side of the border crossing, where the buildings were notably smaller compared with Marienborn.
The restrictive East German controls and the ever-increasing amount of traffic soon resulted in notable waiting times on the West German side. Therefore, the West German government added extraneous car parks and rest stops on the autobahn approach to Helmstedt.
Border controls were relaxed after the Wende during late 1989. The crossing was dismantled at midnight on June 30, 1990, exactly 45 years after its first opening. The former GDR buildings have been a listed building since October 1990, however the former GDR departures area has been demolished when the A 2 road was expanded to six lanes. A rest stop with a motel has now been built on part of the old GDR control portal's area.
The Helmstedt-Marienborn checkpoint was one of three checkpoints used by the Western Allies. Its western side (in the former British zone) was labeled Checkpoint Alpha after the first letter of the NATO spelling alphabet. The Allied side of the checkpoint for entry into West Berlin was named Checkpoint Bravo, while Checkpoint Charlie was the Allied checkpoint for entry into (and exit from) East Berlin.
The nomenclature of "checkpoint", as opposed to the East German "Grenzübergangsstelle" (which literally means "border-crossing-place") was a result of the Western Allies not recognising the legitimacy of East Germany as a state. This only changed during 1973 when the GDR was admitted to the United Nations, however the term remained in use.



Checkpoint Alpha



Checkpoint Bravo

GERMAN VERSION

Checkpoint Bravo
("Checkpoint B") was the name given by the Western Allies to the main autobahn border crossing points between West Berlin and the German Democratic Republic It was known in German as Grenzübergangsstelle Drewitz-Dreilinden. Drewitz is a community nearby, and Dreilinden is the name of the wooded area in Berlin through which the highway passes.
The checkpoint was located on the motorway A 115 (known within Berlin as the AVUS), between the Berliner locality of Nikolassee and the Brandenburger rural community of Drewitz, part of the municipality of Kleinmachnow
The checkpoint was the nearest motorway border crossing point to the Helmstedt-Marienborn border crossing ("Checkpoint Alpha") on the border of West Germany, making it part of the shortest highway transit route between West Germany and West Berlin.
The checkpoint was shifted slightly during 1969 from Drewitz (part of Potsdam), after the East German authorities realigned the transit route to eliminate a brief re-entry into GDR territory before transit traffic could finally enter West Berlin. The new checkpoint was relocated to Nikolassee (part of district Zehlendorf).



Checkpoint Bravo



Checkpoint Charlie

GERMAN VERSION

Checkpoint Charlie
(or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
GDR leader Walter Ulbricht agitated and maneuvered to get the Soviet Union's permission for the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration westward through the Soviet border system, preventing escape across the city sector border from East Berlin to West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east and west. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.
Further information: Eastern Bloc emigration and defection and Inner German border
By the early 1950s, the Soviet method of restricting emigration was emulated by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc, including East Germany. However, in occupied Germany, until 1952, the lines between East Germany and the western occupied zones remained easily crossed in most places. Consequently, the Inner German border between the two German states was closed and a barbed-wire fence erected.
Even after the closing of the Inner German border officially in 1952, the city sector border in between East Berlin and West Berlin remained considerably more accessible than the rest of the border because it was administered by all four occupying powers. Accordingly, Berlin became the main route by which East Germans left for the West. Hence the Berlin sector border was essentially a "loophole" through which Eastern Bloc citizens could still escape.
The 3.5 million East Germans who had left by 1961 totaled approximately 20% of the entire East German population. The emigrants tended to be young and well educated. The loss was disproportionately great among professionals — engineers, technicians, physicians, teachers, lawyers and skilled workers.
Checkpoint Charlie was a crossing point in the Berlin Wall located at the junction of Friedrichstraße with Zimmerstraße and Mauerstraße, (which for older historical reasons coincidentally means 'Wall Street'). It is in the Friedrichstadt neighborhood. Checkpoint Charlie was designated as the single crossing point (by foot or by car) for foreigners and members of the Allied forces. (Members of the Allied forces were not allowed to use the other sector crossing point designated for use by foreigners, the Friedrichstraße railway station).
The name Charlie came from the letter C in the NATO phonetic alphabet; similarly for other Allied checkpoints on the Autobahn from the West: Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt and its counterpart Checkpoint Bravo at Dreilinden, Wannsee in the south-west corner of Berlin. The Soviets simply called it the Friedrichstraße Crossing Point (КПП Фридрихштрассе). The East Germans referred officially to Checkpoint Charlie as the Grenzübergangsstelle ("Border Crossing Point") Friedrich-/Zimmerstraße.
As the most visible Berlin Wall checkpoint, Checkpoint Charlie is frequently featured in spy movies and books. A famous cafe and viewing place for Allied officials, Armed Forces and visitors alike, Cafe Adler ("Eagle Café"), is situated right on the checkpoint. It was an excellent viewing point to look into East Berlin, while having something to eat and drink.
The checkpoint was curiously asymmetrical. During its 28-year active life, the infrastructure on the Eastern side was expanded to include not only the wall, watchtower and zig-zag barriers, but a multi-lane shed where cars and their occupants were checked. However the Allied authority never erected any permanent buildings, and made do with the well-known wooden shed, which was replaced during the 1980s by a larger metal structure, now displayed at the Allied Museum in western Berlin. Their reason was that they did not consider the inner Berlin sector boundary an international border and did not treat it as such.



Checkpoint Charlie



Checkpoint Charlie Decommision





Checkpoint Alpha