/ Mit der Nutzung dieses Formulars erklärst du dich mit der Speicherung und Verarbeitung deiner Daten durch diese Website einverstanden. The memorial site is accessible via the nearby rest stop's exit and can only be explored on foot. It is now located in the Allied Museum in … A checkpoint was established on the site on 1 July 1945, which was on the demarcation line between the British and Soviet occupation zones. 45 years after it first opened, the border crossing officially ceased controls when the social and economic systems of East and West Germany were united on 1 July 1990. We were told the time we should reach Berlin (based on the time we left Helmstedt) and warned that if we reached Checkpoint Bravo too soon, we would receive a speeding ticket, as that would be proof that we had exceeded the 40 mph speed limit. From 1950 onwards, the East German Grenzpolizei (later the Grenztruppen der DDR) performed the border control on the eastern side of the checkpoint, with the exception of the Soviet military, which escorted Allied military traffic to and from West Berlin. The allied duty trains also stopped at Helmstedt. During the Berlin Blockade, which endured from June 1948 to May 1949, the Soviet checkpoint was closed. Border controls were relaxed after the Wende during late 1989. The checkpoint marked the beginning or end of a 170km (110 mile) drive along a walled or fenced motorway through East Germany with no available exits for travellers between West Germany and West Berlin or vice versa. Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point for the allied forces between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. The Border checkpoint Helmstedt–Marienborn (German: Grenzübergang Helmstedt-Marienborn), named Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn (GÜSt) (border crossing Marienborn) by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was the largest and most important border crossing on the Inner German border during the division of Germany. Border guards could be painstakingly thorough in their searches, which meant long waits and sometimes a car being taken to pieces (and possibly left that way). The name Checkpoint Alpha was consistently applied to the combined “Allied” (US, British, & French) facility. Due to its geographical location, allowing for the shortest land route between West Germany and West Berlin, most transit traffic to and from West Berlin used the Helmstedt-Marienborn crossing. That changed in 1973, when the GDR was admitted to the United Nations, but the term remained in use. Due to the increasing tensions between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the border crossing was expanded extensively and security was increased during the following years. The rest of the instructions were still the same, although repeat travelers generally didn’t get the whole speech. I just finished ” The Berlin Wall,” by Frederick Taylor, and parts of it reminded me of the trip friends and I–all teachers at Heidelberg American High School– took in 1964 at Easter time (as I recall) from Heidelberg to Berlin via Helmstedt. The Allied side of the checkpoint for entry into West Berlin was named Checkpoint Bravo, while Checkpoint Charlie was the Allied checkpoint for entry into (and exit from) East Berlin. There is another exhibition, Customs of the GDR, which focuses on the technical process for customs checks at the border crossing, in the former customs control area. The checkpoint Alpha of my period, which at the time was located on the central reservation of the autobahn was I am told demolished when the autobahn was realigned. Between 1972 and 1974, the GDR erected a new control portal on a 35-hectare (86-acre) field situated on a hill near Marienborn, about 1.5 km (1,600 yards) east of the border. Allied Checkpoint Alpha . It was as I understand from the archivist of the Helmstedt zonal border museum had been moved from the original location on the border to its new location so its operation could not be seen from the West. This was the only Autobahn that could be used by the allies to get to West-Berlin by land. Era o maior e mais importante posto de fronteira da fronteira interna alemã durante a divisão da Alemanha. The connection between these checkpoints gained its importance from being the shortest connection between the western zones and Berlin, at 170 km (110 miles). However, the original checkpoint was eventually regarded too unsafe to operate efficiently. After the border crossings at Helmstedt-Marienborn (Alpha) and Dreilinden-Drewitz (Bravo), Checkpoint Charlie was the third checkpoint opened by the Allies in and around Berlin. Berlin summers can be as stiflingly hot as its winters are brutally cold so a map of the Berlin drinking fountains, where water is available for free, could come in very handy. The first Allied control point at Helmstedt was opened on 1 July 1945 between the British and Soviet zones. This illegal time was by a US lady in British E type Jaguar. Friedrich Christian Delius and Peter Joachim Lapp, This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 08:41. Checkpoint Alpha: The ABC of Berlin Checkpoints - Berlin Love The American MP’s at Helmstedt prepared us for driving the Autobahn to Berlin, at 40 mph! No one (other than the author here) ever referred to either of the civilian processing centers as “Checkpoint Alpha” — and no one ever called the Soviet military checkpoint by that name either. The checkpoint was shifted slightly during 1969 from Drewitz (part of Potsdam), after the East German authorities realigned the transit route to eliminate a brief re-entry into GDR territory before transit traffic could finally enter West Berlin. Although each nation’s military travelers were processed by military personnel from their own country, all three were always co-located in a single facility within a few feet of the border. Checkpoint Alpha Compared to the German Reich of the 1930’s and early 1940’s, post-war Germany was a geographically emaciated state. Berlin Brigade. Condition: Used and in good condition. Note: While Checkpoint Alpha was only officially the name of the West German checkpoint at Helmstedt, for the sake of simplicity I will use the term to refer to the border crossing Helmstedt-Marienborn as a whole. The imposed speed limit described by Margaret Coffey did not apply to British or French travellers. While the events of November 9, 1989, signaled the end of a divided Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie remained in operation until seven months later, when its … I certainly remember the area surrounding the checkpoint was pretty bleak in Winter put was not so in the Summer. Food, gas and lodging can be obtained at the NAAFI (Navy, Army, Air … The East German side of this checkpoint was turned into a museum in 1996, not necessarily UE at its purist but still a good place to stop on the way into (or out of) Berlin and take a look at the … This link (HERE) sums it up much better than I can, and they have some pretty cool photos […], […] out the famous Checkpoint Charlie. You were required to check in with them so they could log your arrival. *, Checkpoint Alpha: Das ABC der Berliner Grenzübergänge, Gedenkstätte Günter Litfin – A Watchtower Turned Memorial, Tag der Deutschen Einheit (The Day of German Unity), What I learned about Berlin History | No Tour Guide Needed, Europe 2016 | Day 15 | Berlin – ciao today. …it was a frightening road. Für Westdeutsche war es Kontrollpunkt Helmstedt, für Ostdeutsche, Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn, aber außerhalb Deutschlands wurde der innerdeutsche Grenzübergang am häufigsten mit dem Namen bezeichnet, der ihm von den Alliierten gegeben wurde – Checkpoint Alpha. The crossing interrupted the Bundesautobahn 2 (A 2) between the junctions Helmstedt-Ost and Ostingersleben. The crossing was dismantled at midnight on June 30, 1990, exactly 45 years after its first opening. Ein Kurzfilm über den ehemaligen Checkpoint Alpha der heute ein Museum und Mahnmal zugleich ist. The MP’s recorded our odometer readings, and we were told not to leave the Autobahn for any reason, and we were shown slides of the two Autobahn exits we would encounter and were given our odometer readings at those exits with firm instructions not to leave the Autobahn at those exits. Allied Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt. Die Nomenklatur Checkpoint für Kontrollpunkt ergibt sich im Gegensatz zu der DDR-Bezeichnung Grenzübergangsstelle (GÜSt) daraus, dass von westlicher Seite aus die völkerrechtliche Legitimität als Staatsgrenze nicht anerkannt wurde. - See 13,387 traveler reviews, 7,998 candid photos, and great deals for Berlin, Germany, at Tripadvisor. We were also told that we should insist on speaking to a Russian officer, not to East German police, the reason being that the US did not officially recognize East Germany at the time. The former main office building now houses a permanent exhibition – The GDR Marienborn Border Crossing: Bulwark, Eye of the Needle, Seismograph – made up of film and photo exhibits, documents and objects of interest. Army Challenge Coin . The checkpoint at Helmstedt-Marienborn, along with its counterparts in Berlin, Checkoint Bravo at Dreilinden and Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse, was one of the most important border crossings of the Cold War. The Helmstedt-Marienborn checkpoint was one of three checkpoints used by the Western Allies. The restrictive East German controls and the ever-increasing amount of traffic soon resulted in notable waiting times on the West German side. Checkpoint Alpha. I was a young British MP who worked at Allied checkpoint Alpha between July 1965 to May 1968. Mixing the civilian (East & West German) and military (US/UK/FR/USSR) checkpoints gives a totally confusing and inaccurate portrait, because no traveler used both the military and civilian checkpoints. The Checkpoint Alpha had already been up and running for 5 years at this point, and the soviets decided to fine alternatives to restrict the people flow in and out of Berlin. I am sorry I cannot add specific dates as I am still carrying out research. Happy to contribute further if required. The former GDR buildings have been a listed building since October 1990, however the former GDR departures area has been demolished when the A 2 road was expanded to six lanes. To West Germans it was Kontrollpunkt Helmstedt, to East Germans, Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn, but outside Germany, the inner German border crossing point was most commonly referred to by the name given to it by the Allied powers, Checkpoint Alpha. Its scope included the interzonal railway traffic as well as the motor vehicle traffic on the Reichsautobahn between Hanover and Berlin. The name Checkpoint Charlie comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie). But outside of Germany the inner German border crossing was most often referred to by the name that was given to it by the Allies: ‘Checkpoint Alpha’. The new checkpoin… The West German buildings near Helmstedt have either been demolished or are now used for other purposes. Folk lore however has it that the minimum time taken and an unsubstantiated record was circa 58 minutes including processing by both Russian checkpoints. Its scope included the interzonal railway traffic as well as the motor vehicle traffic on the Reichsautobahn between Hanover and Berlin. Checkpoint Alpha: Das ABC der Berliner Grenzübergänge. I can’t speak for the entire fifty-odd years of the Autobahn Corridor, but I will say that the description offered here is considerably more bleak and depressing than the actual roadway, at least as of the early 1980’s when I was NCOIC of the US Helmstedt Support Detachment traveled that road regularly. Media related to Grenzübergang Helmstedt-Marienborn at Wikimedia Commons, Coordinates: 52°12′56″N 11°04′52″E / 52.215514°N 11.081044°E / 52.215514; 11.081044, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Halt! The Berlin border crossings were border crossings created as a result of the post-World War II division of Germany.Prior to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, travel between the Eastern and Western sectors of Berlin was completely uncontrolled, although restrictions were increasingly introduced by the Soviet and East German authorities at major crossings between the sectors. Processing in the 1980’s was a bit less formal than what Ms Coffey described of her trip in 1964. It showed what it was like trying to cross border […]. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a92b9493db43e2cd05bdec99163d1f72" );document.getElementById("c24011c332").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. East Germans named it ‘Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn’. The final stop for Allied travelers on the Berlin-Helmstedt autobahn from West Berlin was Allied Checkpoint Alpha in Helmstedt, West Germany. The Western Allies kept control of their checkpoint on the western side, with small garrisons of French, British and American troops stationed in Helmstedt. On the grounds of the former East German border control buildings, the "Gedenkstätte Deutsche Teilung Marienborn" was opened on August 13, 1996. The memorial is operated by the state of Saxony-Anhalt and features exhibitions and guided tours. The checkpoint was the nearest motorway border crossing point to the Helmstedt-Marienborn border crossing ("Checkpoint Alpha") on the border of West Germany, making it part of the shortest highway transit route between West Germanyand West Berlin.