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German Democratic Republic
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Forty-eight years ago, I reported to my first active-duty assignment with the U.S. Army's Berlin Brigade. The Berlin Wall had been erected three years earlier, and West Berlin was being called the "outpost of freedom," recognizing that it was completely inside the borders of the socialist state of East Germany and surrounded by unfriendly military forces, including 20 Russian army divisions. As part of my duties, I periodically drove through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin for the purpose of observing activity at the several Soviet and East German military installations within the city.
Germany's top federal appeals court is set to rule Friday on whether a Berlin museum must return to a Jewish man from Florida thousands of rare posters that were seized from his father by the Nazis.
Christa Wolf, one of the best-known writers from the former East Germany whose works described war and politics from a woman's perspective, has died. She was 82.
The Berlin Wall's construction 50 years ago must be a constant reminder to citizens today to stand up for freedom and democracy, the city's mayor said Saturday as a united Germany commemorated the bitter anniversary.
We're all children of our histories. Some of us become victims, others reactors and rebels. Some of us just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Commemorations, celebrations and memorials become important, documenting what is, what was and what might have been.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev crossed a former fortified border on Monday to cheers of "Gorby! Gorby!" as a throng of grateful Germans recalled the night 20 years ago that the Berlin Wall gave way to their desire for freedom and unity.