Berlin: Celebrations for Some

All along the Berlin Wall, Christmas music was playing. Communist border guards on their best behavior helped old women and toddling children onto Eastbound streetcars, and down the empty, echoing length of Karl Marx Alice even the weathered posters of Walter Ulbricht seemed to be smiling. Then, just before dark on Christmas Day, two 18-year-old East Germans made a break for the Wall. As the boys scrambled over the barbed wire, searchlights blazed and flares burst. A pizzicato of burp guns played brief counterpoint to Bing Crosby's White Christmas. Lungs shredded by...

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