Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Allies to a military post between West Germany and East Germany during the Cold War. There were two other military stations located in the western direction of the Autobahn where Checkpoint Charlie was located: Checkpoint Alpha in Helmstedt and Checkpoint Bravo in Dreilinden, southwest of Wannsee, each name indicating a letter of the alphabet ( Alpha the letter A, Bravo the letter B and Charlie the letter C) according to the phonetic alphabet of NATO.
There were many other military posts in Berlin. Some were delivered to westerners.
Checkpoint Charlie was designed as a simple military post for the passage of foreigners and members of the Allied Forces in West Germany to East Germany. Members of the Allied forces were not allowed to use another designated passage for foreigners, such as the Friedrichstraße train station. Checkpoint Charlie is located between 2 famous bars. The Soviets simply called it the Friedrichstrasse Post Office. . The Eastern Germans referred to Checkpoint Charlie officially as the Grenzübergangsstelle (“Border Crossing Point”) Friedrich- / Zimmerstraße.
Checkpoint Charlie has become a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of the east and west, and – for some East Germans – a road to freedom. It is often displayed in films and spy books, such as those written by John Le Carre. A famous coffee shop and observation point for Allied officers, armed forces and other visitors, Cafe Adler (“Cafe Eagle”) is situated right at the checkpoint. It was an excellent vantage point for East Berlin, while tasting something to drink or eat.
The checkpoint was curiously asymmetrical. During its 27 years of activity, the infrastructure on the eastern side was expanded, not only to include the wall, observation tower and zigzag barriers, but also several streets where cars and their occupants were searched. However, the American authorities, perhaps for not imagining that this division was more than temporary, never built permanent buildings, erecting only wooden cabins, which were replaced in 1980 by metal structures (exhibited today in the Allied Museum in West Berlin) . After reunification, a reproduction of these wooden cabins was relocated to the original cabin.