The houses right on the border in town are now all bricked up and empty except for a few peepholes out ex-windows for guards. They used to have a lot of people make it as far as these houses and jump out the windows to land in the street on the western side so they are now bricked in. You can walk along the wall and see wooden barbed wire crosses and flower wreaths erected on sidewalks at spots where eastern escapees were shot coming over wall or were killed jumping out of windows. You can climb up on stands with French soldiers on our side and look over the wall and see all the barbed wire and soldiers only three feet away.
At dusk we drove to Berlin's outer sections - beautiful residential areas, woods, summer beer pavilions, but sooner or later on every road we'd run into that barbed wire, barricades and soldier guarded borders. It's sad to see two beautiful homes in the country with the fence running between them, a wood tower, Communist and gun ready to shoot and kill the one on the east if he so much as makes a move towards his neighbor in the west.
We stopped at a little Gasthof for some white beer and spent three hours playing a slot machine type game and talking to all the people. One man we talked to a long time escaped from the the east. His family is there. He can't see them but he has put his faith in a Dutch prophet who says in 1967 Berlin will be reunited. We got an idea of how life in Berlin is from talking to the people. Most seem to have the "live while we can" attitude. They are a courageous people here. It is hard to begin to write what we feel. It can best be summed up by saying that one never realizes what freedom is until one sees a place where freedom isn't. Freedom is certainly our most valuable possession.