Berlin: Freedom Train

  • Share
  • Read Later

France has consistently opposed East-West talks about Berlin. During a one-day trip to Paris last week, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer did not change stiff-backed Charles de Gaulle's mind, but seemed to convince him at least that he should not boycott such talks when they do occur. Meanwhile, in divided Berlin itself, tension rose.

As the East Germans narrowed the remaining border crossings to an alley-wide 7-ft. passage, a young East German railroad engineer highballed a suburban eight-car train with 24 friends and family to West Berlin. Harry Deterling, 28, got the idea when he heard of Communist plans to tear up 500 yds. of the rail line between Albrechtshof and the West Berlin border. He drained the air from the emergency brakes so that no Communist aboard could stop the unscheduled express by yanking the emergency cord, then roared the locomotive at 50 m.p.h. past the Albrechtshof station into the British sector.