Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan – Part 2

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan

 

(photog) – War Pig, what would an American serviceman have to do to enter East Berlin? Just a frontier checkpoint to inspect identification papers?

(War Pig) – Back then, you had to have a pass, and you had to be in uniform. Military from America, Brits, French, etc. were nothing unusual in visiting East Berlin. They were rather inclined to allow you in as you brought western currency with you. Your papers were inspected at the checkpoint but I don’t remember anyone being denied entry with the paperwork correct. You could even bring in a camera as long as you obeyed the “do not photograph” signs. You were overcharged but even at that it was cheaper than West Berlin prices. As I recall, we had black beer, & roast or corned beef sandwiches on dark bread. Hearty and satisfying. Must have been corned beef as I now remember I mentioned to the Russian that the corning spices in German corned beef were different than the Irish style used in America. That led to a side discussion about our favorite foods. He was surprised that I actually like borscht. I said I liked it some ways as I had had it about a dozen different ways and I only liked two or three.

I wish I could meet him again if he still lives. I’d like to see how he got along. It really would have been a pity if we’d had to fight each other.

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