Berlin: O Tannenbaum

Two years ago, three East Berlin students donned homemade Russian uniforms, doctored a car to look like a Soviet military sedan and calmly drove through a checkpoint in the Communist Wall, unchallenged by the border guards. The story of the ingenious escape obviously got around, for last week West Berliners were chuckling over a similar stunt pulled off a fortnight ago with the help of American uniforms.

The leader, a young West Berliner identified only as Karl-Heinz B., used his Christmas-season pass to drive into East Berlin to visit two friends, a young mechanic and a girl pharmacist. Then,...