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How it went on search

781109. CHAPTER
Maien experienced how a president
the walled-in Berlin visited within 24 hours
and then leaves again.
Manuscript from: Carl Mai, How it went on, Berlin 1941-92

Figur | Foto: D. KirvesSo now the city West Berlinum due to unsettled peace agreements after the last great world war still lay in the middle of the eastern realms as a fist pawn of the western powers, the socialist eastern rulers had built these with high walls around, so that their people could not run to them in droves into the west, because otherwise they would have had nothing more to govern.

Seen from a great height, the wall around the city resembled a large jagged picture frame, in which people like ants were busily running around and building their heaps in prosperity, because all around there were only sparsely populated areas, here and there with a dacha stained by hypocritical Eastern officials.

And via the television frequencies on the ultra-short waves, the West still sent the East the flickering images into the apartments for those thirsting for prosperity.

Attempts to escape over the Wall in the direction of West Berlin were mercilessly pursued by the small border guards commissioned to do so, with the use of firearms, whereby quite a few of the fleeing people died and quite a few of the shooters received a certificate for the good of the people.

This state of affairs had lasted for about seventeen years when I lived in this city. And still the western Sohäulis (=chiefs of state) were tearing themselves to admire this dilemma on flying visits, without changing anything with their diplomacy. Were they nevertheless proud to maintain here an agent carousel, in order to supply each other for their knowledge.

So the Sohäulis arrived and departed again, and everything remained the same in the Wall City, so that even the last smart businessmen could do business with the outrage tourism for their own good.

So the Sohäulis were happy to be served at the Wailing Walls - after all, they had worked their way up to their position with various tricks and willing forces - and eager Stadies (= civil servants) made it convenient for them to be able to rattle off the Wall dilemma in West Berlin for twenty-four hours with leisurely coffee breaks in between. In the process, secret diplomacy lent them a helping hand. For, during the Sohäulis' visiting hours, the unwritten agreement was made that no one attempting to escape from the East was to be shot under their eyes. The blood was left on the fingers of others.

Then the visit program for the Sohäulis went over as follows into the organization for twenty-four hours of their existence here: The head of state Alpha from Psi arrives at eleven o'clock at the airport Te with his Böing machine. There he is greeted quite decently by the Governing Mayor Beta, the Speaker of the Parliament Gamma, the City Commander Phi un the protocol chiefs Tau as well as the allied military authorities. Afterwards Alpha, accompanied by Beta, undertakes a sightseeing tour of the city. The motorcade first travels via the A-dam and C-street to the Em-district for a high-rise mass inspection. From there, it will travel along De-, E-, E- and G-Strasse to the Brandenburg Gate, where Alpha will see the eastern part of the city from a platform at around 12 noon. The route will then take H-Strasse to the E district and then continue via Z-Stern past the Victory Column. At about twelve thirty, the Sohäulis will pass the zoo via I-Strasse to the Hotel Omega, where a short rest break is planned. At 1:30 p.m. Alpha and his wife Zeta sign the Golden Book of West Berlin. Then the governing mayor, Beta, gives out a meal at the Eichengalerie for the Sohäuli and the Stadies. Over a mocha in the fireside room there, a 15-piece coffee service from the Bleu Morant series from the local Kappa Pi manufacture is then provided for the Sohäuli guest to take home. After a short rest at noon, the second part of the city tour begins, during which Beta is replaced by Gamma, the president of the parliament, as the city guide. Then the column of Sohäulis with their servants drives again along the E-Alle to the Z-Star.

On the Reichstag building they again made a view of the eastern part of the city over the walls. The city commander Phi is also present. Then it goes through K Street to Checkpoint Charlie, where the motorcade will stop briefly to take a look at the border crossing controls. The tour will then continue through K-Berg and M-Platz to Platz der Luftbrücke. A longer stop is planned there at the Hunger Museum, where the Westerners illuminate the East with radar installations. The return trip to the hotel then leads via D-Allee to the hotel. There again a rest break is planned, starting at 4 pm. In the evening, Sohäuli and his Zeta will be the guests of a festive performance of the ballet in the D-Opera with Heb-das-Bein-nochmal as guests. After the performance, he is taken to the presidential suite of the Sigma Hotel, from where he leaves the next day at eleven o'clock for his home country.

But, nevertheless, the cops still had their fingers in the pie, so that nothing unforeseen happened with the Sohäuli, because he was there only for the visit. So they issued the following instructions on how to behave in West Berlin: For safety reasons, there is a no-stopping zone along the route of the visiting column. Vehicles parked in the no-parking zones will be towed away by the police for a fee in any case. Do not allow strangers into your living quarters on visiting days. Not even for a fee. Business owners are asked to pay special attention to suspicious behavior of customers. Attention must also be paid to persons placing boxes, luggage or bulky goods in which, for example, explosives could be found.

Then it crossed my mind that I should still be lucky to have a roof over my head for my fee, as long as it still holds.

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