Occupied Berlin 1980


Between 1978 and 1981

Topic: War

I was very young when my family moved to Berlin. It was in 1978. My father, in the French military, had been assigned to go to Berlin, a city occupied since the end of WWII, by the allied in the west, and the Soviet Union in the East. Berlin itself was deep into the Soviet controlled East Germany, therefore, to reach it, you needed to cross a section of Soviet controlled territory. The road was between Helmstedt, where you had to pass through Checkpoint Alpha, and Berlin, where you found Checkoint Bravo. West Berlin was surrounded by the infamous wall. To go from West Berlin to East Berlin, you had to cross Checkpoint Charlie.

Everybody wanting to go to Berlin had to have a movement order, no matter how young. Here is the movement order that indicates that I was “occupying” the city:

It is a strange situation that can only be created by this type of bureaucracy, that makes young children “occupant” of a territory. Here’s how young my siblings are I were at the time:

And here are Soviet soldier marching the Goose Step in Berlin:

A few images shown here are taken from a documentary filmed on Super 8mm that my father made at the time. It can be viewed here, it’s in French, and the sound quality is terrible. But it is nonetheless interesting, it shows images of the wall, of the miradors, of the city in general in 1980.

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