Many of Berlin’s best-known and most visited places would certainly not exist without the civic engagement of many: the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe and currently the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace – they all unite that citizens had a vision and were committed to these places with heart and soul.
On October 5, at “Gedenkstätte Bernauer Strasse” 2018 another group came together at to call for a worthy redesign of Checkpoint Charlie after almost 30 years of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Rainer E. Klemke, one of the initiators of the planned commemoration site in the form of a museum and chairman of the association “Zentrum Kalter Krieg am Checkpoint Charlie”, gathered at his side Eberhard Diepgen, former Governing Mayor of Berlin, Prof. Klaus-Dietmar Henke, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Berlin Wall Foundation, Thomas Krüger, President of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, John Kornblum, former US Ambassador and one of the first signatories of the 2008 call for a Cold War Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, and Walter Momper, former Governing Mayor of Berlin.
The dignitaries explained their motives for their commitment to the press representatives present. As different as they were, they were all united by the message that the historic opportunity of redesigning Checkpoint Charlie must now be seized. The site is a myth and magically attracts people from all over the world. For them, but also for all Berliners, the history of the place is to be told in the context of world politics. As part of Berlin’s urban space, Checkpoint Charlie is not supposed to be a memorial but a living quarter that is aware of its historical significance. They emphasized that all of Berlin’s demands on the developer Trockland have been met and they appealed to the Senate of Berlin to finally acknowledge its commitment and launch the Checkpoint Charlie project.