Travel Tales: Berlin in the 1980s

Posted on May 11, 2006


Travel Tales is back with a personal account of divided Berlin in the 1980s. Writer Xander Mellish takes a mordant but bemused look at the somber, concrete fortress that was Berlin pre-1989. This is the city of decaying Zoo station (Bahnhof Zoo), Checkpoint Charlie, shopaholic US soldiers and caustic, underemployed correspondents…

How I was wrong about the Berlin Wall
And why 22 year olds are not placed in charge of world affairs

In 1986, Berlin was nowheresville.
The Prussian imperial capital, the home office of two world wars, had little industry, little commerce, and a fortified concrete wall down its middle. After the second world war it had been divided into four occupation zones – British, French, American, and Soviet – and it still was, although the soldiers that occupied them didn’t have much to do any more. The American ones spent much of their time on day passes into communist East Germany, shopping.

Read Travel Tales: Berlin in the 1980s – Stories by Xander Mellish

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Previously in Travel Tales: Errant in Iberia – by Ben Curtis

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Posted in: berlin, travel