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Berlin 'bans' Checkpoint Charlie 'soldiers'

Lewis Sanders IV
November 4, 2019

Local authorities have revoked permission for actors to dress like US soldiers and take pictures with tourists. Police had reportedly requested the ban, saying some actors pressured tourists into paying for the photos.

Tourists stands next to US soldier re-enactor at Checkpoint Charlie
Image: picture-alliance/J. Arriens

Authorities in the German capital have barred reenactors from posing for tourist photos at the iconic Checkpoint Charlie, the US control station that marked the crossing point between East and West Berlin.

The Civil Enforcement Office withdrew public performance permission from casting agency "Dance Factory," which represented the roughly 10 actors who dressed like American soldiers and took pictures with tourists, the mass-circulation Bild reported Monday.

Read more: Discovering the Berlin Wall 30 years later

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin in 1961
Checkpoint Charlie was a renowned crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold WarImage: picture-alliance/dpa

Under pressure

Citing local authorities, the report said some reenactors had pressured tourists — and at times even followed them — if they refused to pay a €4 fee ($4.5).

Following multiple reports, police had consequently requested Berlin's Civil Enforcement Office formally withdraw their license to perform in public.

Reenactors had performed at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly two decades.

Read more: Tourist trap and memorial: What is to become of Checkpoint Charlie?

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