We took a Big Bus Tour to Checkpoint Charlie. The checkpoint was first set up in August 1961, when communist East Germany erected the Berlin Wall to prevent its citizens from fleeing to the democratic West. It was the only gateway where East Germany allowed Allied diplomats, military personnel and foreign tourists to pass into Berlin’s Soviet sector.
Following mass protests and international criticism, the East German government finally eased its travel restrictions on November 9, 1989. Thousands of East Germans gathered outside Checkpoint Charlie and other crossing points and began screaming for the guards open the gates. After a four-hour standoff, border guards opened the barriers, allowing people to move freely between East and West Berlin for the first time in nearly 30 years.
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