West Berlin land in East Germany is among the main issues to be settled in next Monday's (20 December) agreement between the two Germanies.
West Berlin land in East Germany is among the main issues to be settled in next Monday's (20 December) agreement between the two Germanies. About a dozen scattered rural enclaves, now surrounded by barbed wire, will soon have unimpeded access to West Berlin, 178 Kilometres (110 miles) inside East German territory.
After three months of talks, East Germany has offered to link the populated enclaves by land corridors to West Berlin in exchange for some of the unpopulated territories. With 190 inhabitants, Steinstucken, on Berlin's south-west corner, is the biggest enclave. Its papulation works in West Berlin and its children go to school there. But gas and electricity are supplied by and paid to East Germany.
On the north-west corner of the city, Eiskeller(ice-cellar) has a narrow road link with West Berlin - which is only allowed to be used by allied patrols, police, its citizens and the daily school bus.
The other enclaves consist of Largely uncultivated land - with some meadows, corn and potato fields. West Berlin authorities would first have to buy them from their owners before offering them to East Germans for the land swap.
SYNOPSIS: Berlin - for 25 years a city of bitter tension. But next Monday it will be the scene of the first major agreement between East and West Germany. Among the issues to be settled - the opening of the Berlin Wall ..... and the exchange of land in East Germany belonging to West Berlin. About a dozen scattered enclaves - most of them rural - will soon have unimpeded access to the city, 100 miles inside East Germany.
Steinstucken - shown here on Berlin's south-east corner - is the biggest of them.
Its 190 inhabitants will soon be moving freely along this road. The town's population already works in West Berlin and its children go to school there. Gas and electricity, though, are still supplied by and paid to East Germany. But, some locals are now fearing the end of a restricted - yet peaceful way of life.
Eiskeller - situated on Berlin's northwest corner - has another kind of problem. Its 20 farmers - tending to 125 acres of land, lead a life not very different from that of their grandfathers - with no gas and no electricity. The town has a road link with West Berlin - but only allied patrols - like this one - police, and the daily school bus, can use it. Its citizens, have up to now, had to apply to East Germany for special permits to travel.
Near the Potsdamer Platz, most enclaves are wild, uncultivated...and unpopulated Others - privately-owned consist of meadows, corn and potato fields. East Germany has asked for these in exchange for creating a lead corridor between the populated towns and West Berlin. But the city's authorities would first have to buy them from their owners before offering them as a bargaining counter. The West Berlin Senate (city government) will pay East Germany 4 million Deutschmarks (almost half a million sterling along with the exchange. Whatever happens, in Berlin, the barriers seem to be coming down.