From the inner german border remains a tower

From the inner german border remains a tower

Today, it takes barely a quarter of an hour to drive from coburg via the autobahn to the gas station outside eisfeld. A few minutes later the thuringian town is reached. This was not always the case. The gas station used to be a crossing point for "small border traffic" between the federal republic and the GDR. This period is commemorated by a memorial in a still preserved watchtower, which is to be upgraded in a cross-country campaign.

"In the 80's i was stopped here once for over five hours, they dismantled my whole car", coburg businessman horst weingarth recalls. After the turnaround, he bought the land of the crossing point to build a gas station on the busy federal highway 4. Of all the buildings, only the watchtower remains standing. Weingarth donated it to the town of eisfeld so that it could be preserved as a memorial and a museum.

Together with the regional manager of the coburg district, stefan hinterleitner, weingarth came up with the idea of upgrading the existing memorial site. They looked for partners and found them in the city of eisfeld with mayor sven gregor (), the counties of hildburghausen – above all with the former deputy (and today's district curator) rolf kaden – and coburg, as well as the leader-aktionsgemeinschaft hildburghausen-sonneberg with dr. Friedrich pfleger. Sven gregor is particularly fond of the memorial: "as a child, i lived in the restricted area, in bockstadt. There I grew up with the border.

It is very important to me that young generations are reminded of what it was like here in the past." now the coffers of the public authorities are fundamentally strained. So it was necessary to look for possibilities of financial support. A request for the development of a museum education concept was submitted to the federal foundation for the reappraisal of the SED dictatorship. "And in terms of content, we have a good chance of receiving funding in 2013", hinterleitner is pleased.

First steps

Even though the demanded funds will not be available until next year, progress has already been made. A strip of paving has been laid in the roadway at the exact spot where the check-in of people entering the GDR used to begin. Together with an information board, he draws the attention of today's visitors to the free state of thuringia to the fact that a deadly border once divided germany here. "This was implemented as unbureaucratically as our cooperation between the two counties has been since the fall of the border", praised coburg's district administrator michael busch (SPD).

Stefan hinterleitner wanted to encourage teachers from the region to use the tower museum as a destination for excursions. And he sees the memorial as part of a whole chain of places connected with the former border.

It takes 30 minutes by fub to get to the village of gorsdorf, where a three-meter-high section of the former border wall is still standing, along the former column road along the border. A 30-minute drive takes you to the zweilandermuseum rodachtal in streufdorf, thuringia.

At the same distance there is a border information center in neustadt bei coburg (austrabe 99), where pictures, texts and models point out the situation of the border between neustadt and sonneberg. This exhibition is didactically especially designed for the visit of school and youth groups.
Rolf kaden, however, is not yet entirely comfortable with horst weingarth's idea of rebuilding a piece of the former border near the old tower for display purposes: "we tore down walls back then, so now we have our problems rebuilding them."

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