Berlin 1969 updates

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Friday 10 November 2017

Format slippage being corrected

Ah, the joys of keeping up with the on-line world! Due to a tiny change of page size, some lines of type disappeared (they're there, we just can't see them). I'm going through the pages and correcting this problem, but it is a tedious process. I'm also checking links as I go. As usual, some of them have gone stale since last checked.

In better news, I have added pages to the Aubrey Pankey story titled "A Small Death In Germany".

-- rwr

Tuesday 1 August 2017

100 Objects: Berlin During the Cold War

If you are in Berlin prior to 29 January 2018, be sure to see the temporary exhibit at the Allied Museum:

Continue reading...

Added to "Troubled Times"

An account of Soviet negotiating pressure in 1970-71 on the West Berlin - West Germany air corridors has been added to the "Troubled Times" subdirectory of the "Stories/Geschichte" section of the Berlin 1969 website. It tells how geopolitics could become personal.

-- rwr

Ticket cover

Monday 29 February 2016

Added to Sven-Hedin-Strasse 11

I've added two more pages to the story. No further word on whether the Robert Haberling who built this house was the founder of the moving and relocation firm that still operates in Berlin.

-- rwr

Friday 2 October 2015

New: Sven-Hedin-Strasse 11

In honor of the centennial this year of the Berlin villa at Sven-Hedin-Strasse 11 I've been digging into the history of this house that was used by famous and infamous Germans, a Czech diplomat, a Soviet general, and more Americans than many are aware of. After a lot of internet drudgery and payments for photo rights, you'll find pictures of the major figures associated with the villa from 1915 through 1945.

Continue reading...

Thursday 5 March 2015

Secrets of Schneewittchen Weg

I have written more of the article titled "Over the Top" in the Stories/Geschichte section of .

This describes how loose talk by postal telecommunications officials was intercepted by the Stasi, adding to their knowledge of the secrets of Schneewittchen Weg.

-- rwr

Friday 2 January 2015

Germany and Middle Eastern refugees/visitors

This essay was written for some friends in mid-October 2014. It is a look at specific issues confronting Germany. Of course, similar problems face other Europeans.

Continue reading...

Added articles in

Two articles have been added to the website. New is the first chapter of "Over the Top" -- just a part of the story of West Berlin's radio-transmitted telephone, teletype, voice and data communication. And, a look at efforts of the East Germans to monitor this traffic.

I've tried to provide enough technical information to move the story along, but hope it will interest any reader. The story posted today reflects the hand-off of monitoring work from the (swamped) Peoples Army (NVA) to the Stasi (MfS) and shows the status of Allied communications at the start of the digital revolution.

I've restored the chapter of the Photos section titled "Berlin from the Air" and it is now available in PDF format. I'm looking forward to additional restorations from the old site and new material over the next few months.

Recently, I spent two months in Europe after my retirement began. I will post some of the experiences with modern Europe here. For the centennial of the start of World War I, I visited the key city where a declining empire triggered its eventual destruction: Vienna.

Vienna excursion - August 2014

-- rwr

Monday 6 May 2013

Troubled Times updates

Two items from the former AT&T Worldnet "Berlin 1969" site have been updated and restored for the current site:

  • "Build Up the Red Army" is an annotated English translation of the founding document of what was to become known as the Red Army Fraction, or Red Army Faction, or the Baader-Meinhof Gang, or the Baader-Meinhof Group, etc. The contents are the same as in the 2001 Worldnet version, which will help scholars who have used this document in footnotes to books and articles. This version is in PDF format, which may be downloaded and saved more easily than the former HTML file.
  • "Demonstrators On the March" is a photo series with brief comments, also now in PDF format rather than the series of individual HTML pages that were used in the Worldnet version. This file is 2.3 MB. While for some that is small, there are readers in places with slow connections or limits on file sizes, so the second half of this series will be provided as a second PDF file, rather than appending it to this one.

The following photo from the 15 Nov 69 demonstration described in Demonstrators on the March characterizes the anxiety which marked the time.


Anxious in Berlin

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Over the Pyrenees - at last

The long story about my unexpected stroll in the snow is now complete. Google Analytics show that some people have been reading it, so I hope that they will come back to see how the day ended. Now on to restore more of the material from my former AT&T Worldnet site.


Saturday 20 October 2012

Progress delayed by a trip to Berlin

What a great excuse! Really, I did go to Berlin and I have photos to prove it (of course, I might just have been Photoshopped into them).

At Brandenbuger Tor 2012

In the Berlin 1969 site, the story 'Pyrenees Crossing' has been extended further. It is about 50% complete. Also, I have added to the Links - Veterans page a link to S. A. Joyce's site. His photos show West Berlin and the Wall at the end of the '60's, just before I arrived.


Sunday 15 January 2012

Free at Last!

The Longest Hour? I've finished the "overnight" story titled "23rd Hour - 23rd Psalm" and you can join me now in walking all the way through the valley of the shadow - along the Spree. I should be able to add some photos to it, but the text now comes to an end.

I have some other projects to finish, so it will be a while before I post more material, but there definitely is more on a variety of subjects.

Sunday 1 January 2012

New Year 2012

I took advantage of the extra time off work this week to re-instate more material from my former AT&T Worldnet Personal Web Pages in . Other than some housekeeping, these were in the Stories/Geschichte area:

  • The story of Barbara Nissman's debut in Berlin. The cold weather we were experiencing in Denver last reminded me of that night.
  • Finished getting the former material into the long story "23rd Hour, 23rd Psalm" and then launched into the never-before-completed section with the sun finally coming up.

The cold weather also reminded me of the YouTube video "Goodbye to 1970" which has some miscellaneous vignettes from New Year's Eve 1971. Or, if you want to see where I was at midnight on this New Year's Eve, I've posted another YouTube video. They're both in my channel on that service (or search for rwrynerson):


Happy New Year!


Sunday 2 October 2011

The Longest Hour?

The story "23rd Hour, 23rd Psalm" continues. At this writing, it is up to Page 25 and it is approaching 0300 hours.

You may well ask "will this story be an overnight sensation?" No, but for people who are truly interested in what a mid-summer night felt like in Berlin 1969-71, this writing is for you.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Started restoring 23rd Hour, 23rd Psalm

Recently I began restoring the "overnight" Berlin story of a summer night in 1971. It's basically the same as on the old website, with some corrections and touch-ups. I've written the closing chapter, so now it's a matter of getting time to post each page.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Re-creating the British Military Train

I've switched to reinstating the Documents section, rather than continuing in the Stories section for the time being. There's a special reason for this:

{{Am 31.05.2011 17:19, schrieb Neil Howard:



I am writing to introduce a special train running from Berlin next year which I hope will be of interest to you.

22 years ago the curtain came down on one of the most difficult and yet smoothly and consistently delivered trains in the history of European railways. The British Military Train was born in the wreckage of defeated and broken Germany, and spent its life on the front line of the Cold War. It was operated in a unique and highly politicised partnership between British Army railway operators and the two state railways of the divided Germany. There had been nothing like it before, and it is unthinkable that we will ever see the like of it again. It ran without fuss, with a very British understatement of the political minefield surrounding it.

On 12 May 2012 we acknowledge and celebrate the calm professionalism of railway people, civilian and military, British and German, who did the job, day in day out, without triggering a Third World War. Steam loco 03 1010 will head a train of 1960s carriages, including a dining car, from Berlin to Hannover and back. Proceeds from the train will go to the Royal British Legion in Berlin, and the military guest of honour will be Major General David Burden CBE, retired Colonel Commandant of the RLC and a former OC Train of the Berliner. The dining car will serve a typical Royal Corps of Transport menu and wine list. Fares are expected to be in the region of €90 per person. The 2012 Berliner is being organised by Train of Events, the team that ran the "Train For Life" to Kosovo in 1999. To register for further details, to reserve a place or just to discuss what we are doing, please email or call 07982 786529.

Many thanks,

Neil Howard CMILT}}

The Documents section of the Berlin 1969 website will again include material describing the British Military Train in honor (or perhaps, in honour) of this event.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Links up to date

I've reinstalled all the links and tested them. As usual, there was one that had changed and some dead links, too.

I've begun re-installing the Stories/Geschichte section. This will take a while, because of the re-formating that must be done. Thank you for the encouraging comments.

Sunday 27 March 2011

More links and pix

I'm almost finished updating the links. Also, I've tossed in over 60 photos into a gallery, with more to come. These are not labeled, but should be fairly self-explanatory.

One of the links takes you directly to my YouTube "Zehlendorf" clip from 1971. About 12,000 downloads have been made, with viewers of all age ranges finding it interesting. It is not great art, but documents some scenes of every day life in our corner of Berlin, far from the landmarks that were typically filmed.

Easter 2011 is coming. It hardly seems possible that three years have passed since my memorable weeks in Berlin at Eastertide. I will not forget the experience of attending the little "village" church in Berlin's far corner, Alt-Schmoeckwitz, nor will I forget the concert music in "Pastor Martin Niemoeller's church" the Church of Jesus Christ in Zehlendorf. Berlin is worth a trip at any season.

Sunday 20 February 2011


I'm hoping to fill in more material from my former website into the new Berlin 1969 site during 2011. Some technical improvements should help.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Premier billet

Je suis le premier billet. Modifiez moi.

Okay.  So, I'll modify you.  Some readers will remember my Berlin 1969 website, which appeared through AT&T Worldnet from 1999 into March 2010.  Worldnet is gone now, and along with it, the Personal Web Pages which made my site practical.  I have saved the material, and hope to get back into operation a little bit at a time, via

Thank you for your interest and assistance.

-- rwr --

Robert W. Rynerson

Роберт Райнерсон