Berlin

Remains of Berlin Wall

Berlin

Unlike so many other European capitals, Berlin can not be found in the heart of the country. Close to Germany's eastern border, almost in Poland, lies a hidden gem.

A city tortured by its past, struggling to recover from the depths of history, about to emerge and flourish like never before. There is so much to tell about Berlin, one simply does not know where to start! Let's see where we can fit in 1983's James Bond film Octopussy, starring Roger Moore, partially filmed in this beautiful city.

Below is part of the story Writing's On The Wall , as featured in full in the travel guide.
Berlin was the capital of Nazi Germany during the Second World War and it took until 1945 to force Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to capitulate by taking his own life, but only after him taking the lives of so many others. While the city of Berlin definitely struggles with its past, it also makes sure this period will not be forgotten: Not an easy task.. Obviously it changed various street names that were formerly named after Nazi leaders, it also offers many silent witnesses to remember those who have suffered their lives in what can be called one of Europe's darkest times. A fine example of these tactics is the construction of the amazing 'Holocaust Mahnmal', a huge Jewish cemetery-like monument between the famous Brandenburger Tor and the Potsdammer Platz, on an area that used to be no-man's land. It was on this giant piece of land that former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters held his famous 'The Wall' concert in 1991. The no-man's land can also be seen in the back on various promotion photographs taken of Roger Moore for Octopussy.
The city was completely devastated during the last years of the war, due to the constant bombing by allied planes. It will be very hard to find any pre-war structures that haven't been touched or reconstructed in the post-war period. The good thing about this is that the city doesn't suffer from the same problems like so many other cities. Since it had to be rebuilt from scrap, city planners could rework bad planning and fix whatever had to be fixed. That's one of the reasons everything goes rather smooth in Berlin. The underground metro system, or U-bahn, works extremely well and the stations are well designed. When you walk the streets, you still see loads of building going on and most of the new buildings are true architectural masterpieces.
Checkpoint Charlie, the famous border crossing in Berlin featured in Octopussy (1983)
The AVUS, originally part of a race track, is the high way used in this scene from Octopussy (1983)
Although very little travel was permitted, there were some border crossings in the city, Checkpoint Charlie being the most famous one. One the border of the American and the Russian Sector, halfway the Friedrich Strasse, the former checkpoint nowadays survives as a tourist attraction, complete with dressed up soldiers. The Checkpoint Charlie Museum there can be recommended. It focuses primarily on the Wall and the many escape attempts. Also at this checkpoint the scenes were filmed in which M drops Bond of by car and sends him into East Germany to track down Octopussy's Circus in Karlmarx Stadt. For obvious reasons, remember the Wall still stood in 1982/83, the crew could not film in East Berlin. They were only allowed to drive the Mercedes into no-man's land, and when John Glen shouted "Cut!", the car stopped just meters before the curious and puzzled East- German border guards, turned and drove back into West-Berlin.

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This and much more can be found in the chapter 'Writing's On The Wall' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

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