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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: Berlin in the 80s  (Read 3804 times)

Schakaline

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Berlin in the 80s
« on: 24.09.2015, 22:23:57 »

Hi everybody!

Because it's soooo many months to EF22, but we're all totally giddy about its theme, I'm going to try something - post a bit of period video content and a little factoid about EF's host city once in a while!

So tune in your sets and adjust your antenna to VHF (and sorry, if you live in East Germany or are a member of the French Occupying Forces, this will be in black and white only):



Still with us? Good!
Today's video is a 12-minute flight over Berlin in 1978 (yeaah, I cheated, but come on, it'll be worth it) with an appropriately snarky commentary and many facts and figures by a local woman for those of you who speak German. The rest can enjoy the pictures from yesteryear.
----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0HahjjY9Dk <----

Now for the "Life in the 1980s" factoid - around the 1:16 mark in the video you can see one of the transmission towers for the West Berlin radio link to West Germany.
As the old phone lines naturally ran through East Germany (and could be severed at any time), in the late 1940s a transmission link was set up between West Berlin and several mountaintops at the Eastern border of West Germany.
With the available technology of the time using direct line-of-sight operation, these towers would have needed to be at least 340 metres in height, but instead a (back then, totally new) system was developed where the radio waves were bounced off the lower layers of the atmosphere, using a system originally developed for police radios.


Still, owing to the strong winds, the antenna towers were built thrice as strong as normal radio masts - I came near the one at Torfhaus in the Harz mountains (pictured above) in the early 90s when I was a wee little teenager, and those 18-metre dishes were enormous. Each of those antennas was able to carry approximately 960 simultaneous telephone calls between West Germany and West Berlin, which isn't a whole lot for a city of more than 2 million if you think about it... and of course, East Germany was eavesdropping.

The system was about to be made obsolete by new satellite technology when the Wall came down, and the Berlin towers have since been torn down. The tower in the Harz is now used as a regular FM radio transmitter and has lost its parabolic dishes.


That's it for this time! There'll be new fun stuff to look at and interesting 1980s things whenever I can be bothered, so probably once a month at best or the like.
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James The Dog

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #1 on: 25.09.2015, 21:22:02 »

Heh, I own a motorised satellite dish and I've found myself quite frequently watching the 20 & 25 year old Tagesschau repeats on Taggeschau 24 & BR-Alpha. Even though I can't speak German I find them quite interesting to watch! Watching the reports around the time of the collapse of the DDR in partiuclar!
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Cheetah

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #2 on: 09.10.2015, 13:39:10 »

I still remember visiting East Berlin in 1986 with my school class. That trip was considered mandatory education back in the days, and boy, what did I find the GDR depressing and spooky. You had to exchange a minimum of 20 DM (west) into 20 DM (east) to enter, and I still remember that I had serious problems finding something meaningful to spend that money on.
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yours,

Cheetah

o'wolf

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #3 on: 09.10.2015, 13:55:33 »

You had to exchange a minimum of 20 DM (west) into 20 DM (east) to enter, and I still remember that I had serious problems finding something meaningful to spend that money on.

When we were there in spring of 89, we bought books. Literally a metric ton of them.

And having visited the GDR a couple of years before (I have family in Mecklenburg,) it was almost scary to experience that strange atmosphere back then. You could feel that something was brooding, changing, that the GDR would break down very soon. Which, as we all know, indeed did.
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Schakaline

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #4 on: 19.06.2016, 18:52:33 »

Whoops. Well, "semi-regular" my ass.

But hey, I've found another true eighties gem. Ghost stations.



When you go past those buzzing streets of the eastern city, or changing trains in the twisting mazes of Alexanderplatz and Friedrichstraße, little reminds you today of how these stations fell into disuse between 1961 and 1989, heavily guarded, their entrances all but disappeared from the streets of East Berlin, only the odd rumble of a non-stopping train beneath their feet reminding the citizens that something was going on there.


Here's a short seven-minute film in the English language, about one of the many quirks of divided Berlin:

-----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x21In7YV9nQ <-----
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CleanerWolf

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #5 on: 19.06.2016, 21:20:57 »

I remember passing those stations from time to time, it was kinda scary, like everything else related to the cold war, definately the dark side of that time. Just let's all try hard not to let this happen again...
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Alpha_Ki

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #6 on: 23.06.2016, 08:08:03 »

I clealry remember the smell... I don't know why but all my childhood memories visiting my Grandparents at the Erzgebirge or families' friends in East Berlin I remember that specific smell coming from bruning coal, the cars and factories. My parents and me were all born east of the border but we were allowed to leave before my first birthday. But we spent every school holidays with my grandparents.

And the Sandmännchen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NAgXQz6-d0
But even growing up in West Germany I clearly can't remember the Western Sandmännchen.
« Last Edit: 24.06.2016, 10:41:37 by Alpha_Ki »
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Schakaline

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #7 on: 23.06.2016, 14:29:43 »

I clealry remember the smell...

Wofasept.  ;D
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Alpha_Ki

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Re: Berlin in the 80s
« Reply #8 on: 24.06.2016, 10:43:40 »

I clealry remember the smell...

Wofasept.  ;D

*pöt pöt pöt pöt pöt**knatter**puff**pöt pöt pöt pöt* ... XD
Ooooooh yes.
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