Reader Stories

by CARL A. BENNER, VMI ‘60

My name is Carl A. Benner and I was at Checkpoint Charlie during the standoff with the Russian T54 tanks in October 1961. (My memories are a little different than you portrayed in the book.) I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting that extremely tense...

by CHARLES RAGER

I was drafted into the Army in December of 1961. I arrived in Berlin Germany in June of 61. I was assigned to the weapons squad of C Company, 2nd Battle Group, the 6th Infantry’s “Chargin’ Charlie”.

One of my most memorable times happened while touring a...

by AMB. STEPHEN BARRETT 

I was Deputy Political Adviser in the British Military Government Berlin from 1959 to 1962. In August 1961 I was 29 years old. My career was entirely in the British Diplomatic Service where I worked successively in Cyprus, Berlin, Helsinki, Prag...

by WALT MICKLER

“Es lebe Freiheit!.” Those were the thoughts of most West Berliners in 1961. When asked by an American soldier what the best thing about Berlin was, his German friend pointed to the American flag in front of the Berlin Command Headquarters. The soldier a...

by DANIEL REVAS

I arrived in West Berlin as a somewhat naive 17 year old soldier fresh off the plane from Nebraska. In many ways I “grew up” in Berlin.

While bullets were not flying, the Cold War that was going on there was as real as any war, and there were casualties....

by LINDA NOLTEN

In June 1962, my West German husband to be (he a recent graduate from the Universität München’s Medical School) and I (a recent graduate from Wayne State University- having spent the previous three years in München) traveled by Bundesbahn through East Ge...

by MICHAEL F. RAFFERTY

On November 9th 1989 I was relaxing in my home watching the Armed Forces Network, when it announced that East Germans would now have the ability to travel. This of course caught my eye and I called my friend Staff Sergeant (SSG) Nathaniel Brown, w...

by AMMIEL SCHWARTZ

I was posted to US Army Hosp Frankfurt July 1956. After I had been there for six months, I was asked if I would like to be the chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Berlin. I said “no.” I had heard of that job — no coverage, Autobahn, Checkpoint Charl...

by CODY K. CARLSON

In the summer of 2005, I was an undergraduate student attending the Freie Universität Berlin international summer program. I had long had an interest in German history and was delighted for the first time to visit that beautiful country and its haunti...

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