US Army German Border Sign Entering Soviet Zone Checkpoint Charlie Berlin Wall For Sale
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US Army German Border Sign Entering Soviet Zone Checkpoint Charlie Berlin Wall:
We are very pleased to offer an extraordinarily rare and historically important sign.
All original circa 1968 hand-painted U.S. Army sign used in the West-East German inner border during the Cold War era. The significance and rarity of the sign is self-evident. Relatively few of these signs were created to denote the demarcation between both nations, even fewer signs of this vintage survives and they are very rarely offered for sale.
Everything about this sign is correct. It measures 36.5" wide and 54" tall, per the specifications of the corresponding U.S. Army handbook (see last image, as found in the U.S. Army's official history website).
According to the US Army official history page:
(U) In addition to having the frequency of their border patrols reduced, the border units received help from another quarter in lessening their workload. On 11 July 1968 the regulation governing travel within the 5-kilometer zone next to the eastern border was changed to reduce the zone to one kilometer. The revised regulation applied to all military personnel and civilian employees of the US forces in Europe, as well as their private vehicles registered with the US forces. The reasons for the change were to align US policy with British and Federal Republic restrictions for their personnel, and to create a border zone that would be more easily enforceable by the border units. The 5-kilometer zone had been found to be too deep for effective enforcement by the two regiments. The revised zone began to be implemented in August, with the new signs being put up through the end of the year. sign is made of heavy gauge galvanized metal and quite heavy. The paint shows appropriate wear with a piece that withstood several winters on the German roadside. There do not appear to be any touch-ups or repairs. The paint used in the black lettering is quite stable -- see up close images showing age-appropriate cracquelerure. The white base paint has some peeling and flakes but overall very good and stable. Some slight flaking is still occurring on the lower right quadrant, though the lettering paint is stable there as well.
You will also notice we have included several images (7, 8 and 9) showing nearly identical or identical signs as photographed in their original placement during the same era as the one being offered for sale.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.