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PROJECTS | 1997 | THE GLIENICKE BRIDGE

THE GLIENICKE BRIDGE

Connecting Divided Germany

Author & Director:
Juergen Ast | Thomas Blees

Commissioning Editors:
Johannes Unger | Juergen Tomm

Duration:
45'

Coproduction:
astfilm productions | ORB | SFB // ARD

The Glienicke Bridge - for forty years it's eastern side was part of the West, it's western side, part of the East. In the time of the German Democratic Republic, the bridge was named "Bridge of Unity", but in reality it stood as a symbol of divided Germany.

The Glienicke Bridge made history, and it is here where historic events took place. Here was the kinglike way the Prussian Royals used to travel to their residences in Potsdam. Schinkel's reconstruction from 1834, it was regarded as a "marvel" in the Prussian landscape. In 1907, a modern steel-construction replaced Schinkel's bridge. At the end of the 2nd World War, thousands of refugees from the burning capitol Berlin tried to escape over the bridge into the countryside. Finally the bridge was destroyed by the "Wehrmacht".

During the Cold War, the Glienicke Bridge became a "loophole" through the Iron Curtain. Here the first spy swap in the Cold War took place. Those secret deals, the first in February 1962, and two others in 1985 and 1986, they made the bridge well known throughout the world.

When the Wall came down, for the first time the Glienicke Bridge had every reason to be called "Bridge of Unity". Today, the barriers and all elements that served to guard the frontline of the Iron Curtain, they are gone. Hundred of cars are crossing the bridge every day, just as if it was so ever since.