At Checkpoint Charlie, Cold War History Confronts Crass CommercialismBreaking News
tags: Cold War, Germany, capitalism, Checkpoint Charlie
For all Berlin’s attractions, it is a small, wooden shack that tops the must-see lists of many tourists here.
The former guard house stands behind a row of sandbags at a busy intersection in the heart of the city’s downtown, beneath a sign announcing “U.S. Army Checkpoint.” The world knows the spot better as Checkpoint Charlie.
It was at this crossing, during the Berlin Crisis of 1961, that Soviet and American tanks stood muzzle to muzzle in a standoff that threatened to plunge humanity into yet another war, this one to be fought with nuclear weapons. After six tense days, the two sides backed off without firing a shot. But the site remained ground zero of the Cold War division that split the world into opposing blocs.
“There is no equivalent anywhere, where tanks stood off and the world worried we were on the brink of World War III,” said Hope M. Harrison, a professor of history at George Washington University, who has studied Cold War Berlin and the city’s development since the Berlin Wall came down. “That is what is so unique about Checkpoint Charlie.”
comments powered by Disqus
- USA Today Publishes New Articles As Part Of Series, "1619: Searching for Answers"
- Washington doesn't have a Latino history museum. These people are hoping to change that
- A history of key United Auto Workers strikes against GM
- Fact-checking Andrew Yang on history of universal basic income
- Hobby Lobby Will Return Biblical Antiquities Allegedly Stolen by Oxford Professor
- Historians Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney bring history to life in podcast
- Modern art historian, US museum director and clergyman EA Carmean, Jr has died, age 74
- Historian Andrew David Teaching Impeachment during an Impeachment Inquiry
- Historian Brad Simpson Says He's Never Read a Letter As Unhinged As Trump's To Erdogan
- Academic Twitter's Gender Imbalance