16 Facts About West Berlin

1. West Berlin was directly or indirectly represented in its federal institutions.

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2. West Berlin was formally controlled by the Western Allies and entirely surrounded by the Soviet-controlled East Berlin and East Germany.

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3. Male residents of West Berlin were exempt from the Federal Republic's compulsory military service.

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4. In many ways, West Berlin functioned as the de facto 11th state of West Germany and was depicted on maps published in the West as being a part of West Germany.

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5. Since West Berlin was not a sovereign state, it did not issue passports.

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6. Active immigration and asylum politics in West Berlin triggered waves of immigration in the 1960s and 1970s.

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7. West Berlin was a destination for many people fleeing East Germany both before and after the construction of the Berlin Wall.

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8. The resulting borderline was further complicated with a lot of geographical oddities, including a number of exclaves and enclaves that Greater Berlin had inside some neighbouring municipalities since 1920, all of which happened to become part of the British or American sectors after 1945, so that parts of West Berlin came to be surrounded by East Germany.

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9. Unlike West Germany, from where calls to East Berlin were made using the prefix 00372, calls from West Berlin required only the short code 0372.

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10. Flights between West Germany and West Berlin were under Allied control by the quadripartite Berlin Air Safety Center.

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11. Rail traffic between East and West Berlin was sharply reduced and restricted to a small number of checkpoints under GDR control.

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12. On 12 May 1949, the Blockade ended and all roadblocks and checkpoints between East and West Berlin were removed.

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13. One-day visas for East West Berlin were now issued in a quickened procedure; visas for longer stays and visas for East Germany proper needed a prior application, which could be a lengthy procedure.

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14. West Berlin paid for the treatment of its sewage in Western Deutsche Marks which were desperately needed by the East German government.

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15. The lines were separated and those mostly located in West Berlin were continued, but only accessible from West Berlin with all access in East Berlin closed.

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16. Eastern controls were slowly eased into spot checks and finally abolished on 30 June 1990, the day East and West Berlin introduced the union concerning currency, economy and social security.

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