Checkpoint Charlie  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

GDR leader Walter Ulbricht agitated and maneuvered to get the Soviet Union's permission for the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration westward through the Soviet border system, preventing escape across the city sector border from East Berlin to West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east and west. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.

After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.

In popular culture

  • Britain's longest running "techno" club night, based near London, was called "Checkpoint Charlie"
  • Steven Van Zandt (E Street band/Bruce Springsteen) has a song titled "Check Point Charlie"
  • Mention of Checkpoint Charlie in the Elvis Costello song Oliver's Army
  • Mention of Checkpoint Charlie in Series 3 Episode 3 of The Thick of It by character Glenn Cullen
  • British Leyland made a German television advert, featuring an Austin Maxi based on a true story of a couple who defected to the West at Checkpoint Charlie in the boot of a Maxi.
  • Old CB terminology for a police checkpoint, placed to look for drunk drivers, etc.
  • Checkpoint Charlie was the scene of numerous fictional spy swaps in such works as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
  • Checkpoint Charlie was the inspiration for the Call of Duty: Black Ops (First Strike map pack) map "Berlin Wall"
  • British spy James Bond (played by Roger Moore) passed through Checkpoint Charlie in the 1983 film Octopussy from the West of Germany to the east.
  • Workaholics season 1 espisode 5 is titled "Checkpoint Gnarly".

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Checkpoint Charlie" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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