A Drive Through The Zone – Melvin Gall

In 1960, I picked up the First Sergeant’s car in Bremerhaven and drove it back to Berlin. I told the Checkpoint that I was familiar with the route, (which I wasn’t).

The turn off points in Berlin was Potsdamer Strasse and another turn off was Potsdamer Strasse Democratic sector (which was the East German zone.)

It was foggy and dark and I turned off into the East German zone. I pulled up on a couple East Germán police swinging lanterns for me to stop. When I saw what I had done I stepped on the gas and ran thru their checkpoint, into the East zone

Now I was lost and afraid I would be taken prisoner. I didn’t have any idea of how to drive out of there.

I kept driving around totally lost but somehow came back to that same check point. There was comrade swinging is lantern again for me to stop.
I did the same thing and when I got beside the guard I stepped on the gas again, going back on the autobahn.

Now the problem was I had to go through the Russian check point first before the American check point Bravo. I was about half hour late coming through the check point. The Russian officer came out to the car, shaking his head at me. He looked at my papers and said GO. I did and then stopped at the American MP. He was just getting off duty and told me, “Get the hell out of here” which I did pronto.

I’d like to meet that Russian officer again. I’d buy him a couple beers. My conclusion from that experience is all Russians aren’t bad.