We woke up today for our first day in West Berlin very refreshed. We went for a short walk to explore the neighbourhood and went to a supermarket to buy some meat, pickles and milk. I had a feast of 6 hamburgers and a litre of milk. I find it taking some time to get used to seeing all sorts of food in the supermarket unlike Yugoslavia with its line ups and food shortages. We met Heidi for a coffee break and on the way home we found the American Library where we took out some books and then without luck tried to find a cinema playing an English movie. We had a big dinner of beouf bourguignon, listened to some records, read and went to bed. A weird feeling being surrounded by communists on all sides and the East German ones are rather nasty. Although Yugoslavia is communist tourists are treated more like fellow human beings instead of enemies.
August 14, 1971: West Berlin: A Visit to the American Sector: Swim and Risk Being Shot
Heidi joined us for lunch and it was great to see her. I washed her car, a VW Beetle. We visited the American sector. I think West Berlin is divided into a British, French and an American sector. We took a boat to an island park with peacocks on it. Heidi showed us the other side of the river which was in East Germany. Many people have been shot and killed tried to flee to West Berlin by swimming across the river. The East German guards are cruel but if they do not shoot and kill East Germans trying to escape to West Berlin they are severely punished. By 1961 it was estimated that 1,000 East Germans were crossing into West Berlin so the Wall was hastily constructed to trap East Germans in East Germany. What an embarrassment to communism!