Going through V.R. Srinivasa Murthy’s additional information on the historic Brandenburg Gate write-up by KBG (SOM dated Nov.9) I was reminded of my visit to (West) Berlin. I was in Europe along with a Directors’ delegation from a Central PSU in the spring of 1975. We were to visit a factory in West Berlin and we were sent by a flight from Frankfurt strictly on a flight corridor (only AF, BA and PANAM flights allowed and not LH) to West Berlin. The flight, after landing, moved to an underground base as per my memory.
After completing our factory visit, we were taken around the city and were shown the huge Berlin Wall which in certain places divided a residential house, where one portion was in West Berlin and the rest was in East Berlin (controlled by Soviets).
Next we were taken to a place about 100 mts. from the famous Brandenburg Gate and the accompanying German officer explained the whole history behind it and we looked at the Gate guarded by two Soviet soldiers standing on each side of the Gate.
I felt like going close to the guards and greet them in Russian but was advised by the German officer against it. I relented and requested the leader of our delegation to permit me to go a bit close, greet and come back. He agreed and I went towards the guards who started staring at me. I smiled and going a little closer to them greeted them in Russian and spoke to them about my nationality and umpteen visits to Moscow. When they shook hands with me, I requested them whether I could peep into the other side (Russian side) of the huge Gate.
After mutual consultation, they allowed me a minute’s stay and opened the huge gate partially.Lo, what a beautiful sight it was on the side controlled by the Soviets. I thanked them profusely and returned to my team eagerly watching from a distance.
– H.N. Rama Murthy, Kuvempunagar, 9.11.2017
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