Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie
Zimmerstraße 20, 10969 Berlin, Germany
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The military alphabet

Available in: English | Deutsch

During a tour of the Wall, Mr. Cramer was told by an old man where the name 'Checkpoint Charlie' comes from: “It’s derived from the U.S. military alphabet. Just as we say ‘A as Anton’ and 'B as Berta’, they say ‘A as Alpha,’ ‘B – Bravo,’ ’ C – Charlie.’ And Point Alpha was just the first - the most westerly - checkpoint. Then there was checkpoint Bravo, the Bravo in ‘Unter den Linden.’ Checkpoint Bravo is also a part of the exhibit today in the Watchtower Museum. Checkpoint Charlie was just another one.” According to the man, there used to be listening devices hidden in the trees at Checkpoint Charlie. You had to be very careful what you said and make sure you weren’t speaking about running away.

Michael Cramer

Michael Cramer

Michael Cramer was born in the middle of West Germany in 1949 and came into contact with the issue of the division of Germany through the friends of his parents, at a young age. After he completed his studies in Mainz, he moved to West Berlin, where he lived very close to the wall and repeatedly made trips to the eastern part of the city. He worked as a teacher and in 1989, he was voted to the German parliament for the Greens where he devoted himself predominantly to issues of transport and traffic policy. His initiative of the “Berlin-Wall Trail” – a bicycle route along the former Berlin Wall – dates back to this period. After he was elected to the European Parliament in 2004, he expanded this initiative to encompass all of Europe and called it the “Iron Curtain Trail,” a 9,000 kilometer-long bicycle path along the former Iron Curtain. He has already biked large parts of this trail himself due to the fact that since 1979 Cramer hasn’t owned an automobile.

Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie

Available in: English | Deutsch

Checkpoint Charlie was one of Berlin’s most important border crossings through the Berlin Wall between the years 1961-1990. It connected the Soviet and the U.S. sector.

Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie

On this place

The military alphabet

The military alphabet

Michael Cramer
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