Section 1, Page 1

Berlin, West & East, From The Air

The photos in this section were taken during the winter of 1983-1984 when the weather not as clear as we would have hoped.    Therefore the lack of great contrast.   The helicopter used was the one used by the U.S. Army to patrol the border, or wall, looking for suspicious activity of the "enemy."    We have deliberately lowered the quality so as to reduce the byte size for downloading.

Leaving the field at Templehof Airport.   This is the helicopter that took us on our low flying trip around West Berlin.

View of Templehof Airport, as laid out when constructed during the period 1936 to 1939.    The curved area at the tarmac is nearly 3/4 mile long.    During the 1980's, only military flights used the field.   However, the main teminal area was well preserved with the ticketing areas just the way they were when the airlines moved to Tegal Airport.

'Platz der Luft Brucke.'    The memorial (Luftbruckendenkmal) for the 78 airmen who lost their lives during the Berlin Air Lift of 1948-1949.   The three concrete ribs rising from the base symbolize the three air corridors used by the Allies from West Germany to Berlin.

Along the Berlin-Spandau ship canal, near its terminus with the Spree River. On the east side of the wall are reddish brick buildings, part of the huge Krankenhaus (hospital).

A view of the wall along the Spree River.

Another view of the wall showing the type of clearing between the inner and outer walls.

In the very middle of this photo are the little structures where the West's military and staff had to check in.   This was always known as Checkpoint "C" or "Charlie."   A and B were the checkpoints on the Berlin to Helmstedt autobahn.    This was also the crossing point for all non-Germans, although other than military sponsored did not have to stop at the West's checkpoint.    The road going from the lower right to the upper left is Friederichstrasse, which was just one of the many streets that are open between the two parts of Berlin.   To the right under the red roof, is located the famous "Checkpoint Charlie Museum" that has many displays and actual items used by successful escapees.    There was a vast difference in how non-Germans were treated as they crossed.    The West Military sponsored cars and persons were not searched or detained by the East German guards much longer than 10 to 15 minutes during the crossing.    Non sponsored persons were subjected to personal searches, as well as their vehicles and luggage, and these coutd take as long as an hour to finish.

From ground level, this shows Checkpoint Charlie.   The structure in the forefront was for the French and the English, and the one further back was for the American Forces sponsored East visitors to check in and out.   The woman in this photo is Jane Gideon, now deceased. More Wall photos in Section 2.

Philharmonic Theatre, Kemperplatz, built in the 1960's.  In the center with the tentlike roof is the concert hall.  It has 2200 seats arranged in nine terraces.  The accoustics differ from normal concert halls, in that the sound goes up and then comes down to the listener, rather than along the straight path horizontal.  You need to hear it to understand what I have just said.

The Brandenburg Gate built in 1788 - 1791, with Unter den Linden in the background.  The gate is 215 feet wide and to the top of the "quadriga" it is 85 feet.   The gate was closed to all traffic in 1961 when the wall was first built.  On my last trip in 1999, it was open for one way traffic coming from Unter den Linden only.   The "quadriga" at the top was constructed of beaten copper in 1793 to symbolize 'victory.'   The "quadriga" was removed in 1807 by Napolean and taken to Paris.  It was returned in 1814.  The damage from World War 2 was repaired in West Berlin and put back in place in 1958.    However, the Prussian Eagle and Iron Cross, symbols for victory, held by the goddess were removed by the East Germans first.

The Reichstagsgebaude, Parliament Building.  In the form of the Italian High Renaissance, it was erected from 1884 to 1894.  In 1933 it was partially gutted in the fire set by the Nazi leaders as an excuse to persecute minorities in the Nazi Germany.   During World War 2, it became a ruin.  The building was rebuilt and completed by 1970.  During the 1980's you could still see patch marks on the outer walls and pillars.    Inside was built the assembly room for the Congress in the expectation that it would someday return to Berlin (as it finally happened in 1999).  The whole building was used as a Berlin Historical Museum meanwhile.  There was a dome, but it was blown up in 1957 and not replaced.   Further the elaborate decorations and ornamentations were not restored.

A ground level view of the front of the Reichtagsgebaude.   Note the many patches on the facade.

Produced and assembled 14 June 2002, upgraded 17 January 2006, by that great guy,
Lester Peter Gideon

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