A visit to Berlin as a child in the 1950’s, before the wall was built, was a catalyst for my interest in the recovery of Germany after having been occupied by the Allies at the end of the 2nd World War. During a trip to Germany this year 2017, whilst staying in the Hesse region near to the Rhine area, I took the opportunity to visit the Grenzmuseum Schifflersgrund, which is situated at the former inner East German border. Border fortifications of the GDR are visible for a distance of more than 1 km and are still in their original form.
The Museum still maintains the fencing and physical groundworks to illustrate the barriers that prevented the GDR citizens from escaping to the West. Beside the imposing watchtower there are a considerable number of police and military vehicles of different descriptions together with various types of helicopters.
Assorted buildings contain many photographs and displays that describe the conditions during the period that Germany was segregated. The multi-lingual displays, an English language guidebook and the audio-guides that can be hired, provide an abundance of information available to British visitors that could make a visit last for several hours!
It is difficult for a person born after the war to look back and understand how the relatively quick decisions related to the division of Germany, made by military personnel, would have such an effect on the German population for so many years until the country was unified some 45 years later. The Museum is thought provoking and a historical reminder that gives an insight to life for the East Germans during the era of the GDR.
The museum website:http://www.grenzmuseum.de
The Museum address: Grenzmuseum Schifflersgrund, Platz der Wiedervereinigung 1, 37318 Bad Soden-Allendorf, Germany
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