30 years since the fall of the wall

We visited West Germany in the summer of 1979. I was 9 years old then. Those days there was no visa requirement. You could just land up. No entry stamp to indicate when you came or went. When entering East Germany though, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik did put a DDR stamp to record your presence.

We stayed with one of Dad’s old time friends in East Berlin. After our trip, we took a train back from East Berlin to West Berlin. It was a rutty-putty train in contrast to the other ones we’d been on during our holiday. When crossing the border, the train halted for checks by the police. Sniffer dogs made their way inside and outside the train. The atmosphere was tense and a bit scary for us. It seems that people from the East would try to escape by dangerously hiding under the train coaches and in other inconspicuous places. They’d often get caught and then God knows what would happen to them.

DDR entry stamp1979
DDR stamp

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