Berlin, Friedrichstraße
Berlin-Friedrichstraße, 10117 Berlin, Germany
  • Příběh
  • Místo

(Un)limited entry at the border crossing Friedrichstrasse

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

By moving to West Berlin in 1985, Heinz-Dieter Schumacher obtained a travel authorization and was free to travel to and from the GDR. During his numerous trips to the East, he would mostly cross the border at the Friedrichstrasse station, as he did for the first time. Before doing so, he had been advised by his friends to behave discreetly in order to avoid being arrested in the East. To get to the border checkpoint, he drove to the station and then had to pass the border control. The border crossings were sometimes connected to an intensive screening-process of personal documents. At other times, he would be simply granted passage with a simple waving of the hand of the customs official. The laminated customs-office doors led to the so-called “Palace of Tears,” where Heinz-Dieter Schumacher watched people from the East parting with their loved ones from the West or – on the contrary – impatiently awaiting the arrival of their relatives. After the fall of the Wall, Heinz-Dieter Schumacher’s relatives from the East set out on a journey to the West to visit him at his home. After the arrival of his two cousins, he wanted to pick up his brother at the Friedrichstrasse station on November 1989. However, because the station was completely overcrowded Hans was unable to find his brother among the hoards of people migrating from the East to the West. On his way back from the station, Heinz-Dieter Schumacher – to his great delight – discovered many newly created border crossings and niches. When he came home, his brother had already arrived there and thus the whole family met for the first time together in the West. There were no longer any travel restrictions.

Heinz-Dieter Schumacher

Heinz-Dieter Schumacher

Between the years 1985 – 1994, Dr. Heinz-Dieter Schumacher lived in the western part of Berlin. This allowed him to directly experience the Iron Curtain, which was primarily embodied in the Berlin Wall. His interest in border phenomena led him to undertake journeys to both sides of the German border. His travels offered him multiple perspectives of the social situation of the period.

Berlin, Friedrichstraße

Dostupné v: English | Deutsch

Back in the days of the Iron Curtain, the S-Bahn station Berlin-Friedrichstraße was the last station in the GDR before the border to West Berlin. It became one of the main crossing points between East and West Berlin. Since 1945, many people from East Germany used this station to flee to the West. However, after the Berlin Wall was erected in August 1961, the station was separated into two parts. Thus, it turned from a transit station into a terminus and a border checkpoint for travelers from both parts of Berlin. The station was separated into two areas that were hermetically sealed off from each other; contact between the two was not possible. It was here where people parted with relatives and friends. Therefore, until 1989, the S-Bahn station was also colloquially called the “Palace of Tears.”

Paměť národa pro váš chytrý telefon
Stáhněte si zdarma! Aplikace Místa Paměti národa vzniká na základě vzpomínek pamětníků na události minulého století v rámci projektů Paměť národa a Příběhy 20. století.