An old wooden building which has served as 'Checkpoint Charlie', the only international crossing point of the Berlin Wall for foreigners, has been removed.
TOP VIEW 1961 (Black and White) U.S. tanks surrounding "Checkpoint Charlie"
SV U.S. troops and West German officials at checkpoint (2 shots)
SV U.S. Tanks
SV Checkpoint Charlie original hut on left of picture
GV bus passing through Checkpoint Charlie to East Berlin
1976 (Colour and Sound) CU sign Friedrichstrasse.
SV Checkpoint Charlie sign on shop
SV Checkpoint Charlie, original hut
SV PAN from US Guard and cars passing through to workmen dismantling other original hut
SV workmen dismantling huts (4 shots)
SV U.S. Flag PAN to woman looking out of border window
GV second hut loaded on truck (4 shots)
SV hut being towed away
Initials RH/1940 RH/DE/AW/2000
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Background: An old wooden building which has served as 'Checkpoint Charlie', the only international crossing point of the Berlin Wall for foreigners, has been removed.
The building was taken away on Thursday (20 May) by workers from a private West Berlin firm. Part of it is to be displayed at the American Military Museum and the rest will be divided into small pieces for visiting souvenir hunters.
'Checkpoint Charlie' was built as part of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Then, East German tanks drew up along the demarcation line splitting the Soviet sector of Berlin from the western half of the city. Crossing points were sealed off and construction of a wall and barbed wire fence was started.
Earlier this month, the Soviet Union began general improvements to the wall. These are expected to make it even more difficult for anyone trying to reach the west across the 200 yards (about 180 metres) of open space, patrolled by armed guards and dogs.
But, in the past 14 1/2 years since the wall was built, a steady trickle of people have managed to sneak over, under or through the wall. One group managed to get through at "Checkpoint Charlie" simply by driving closely behind the car in front before the automatic barriers could operate.
The checkpoint has been the scene of many incidents since Berlin was divided. One of the more serious took place in 1961 when East German police refused to allow American civilians to cross unless they showed their passes.
The Americans were set on asserting the right of other citizens to drive into the eastern section without being checked by the police.
With tension rising, the whole American garrison was alerted. The car, with two American civilians inside, drove over the border, with no action taken by the East Germans.