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tv   American Artifacts International Spy Museum Exhibit on Cold War Berlin  CSPAN  January 1, 2020 11:05pm-11:36pm EST

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action during the vietnam war., i'm eric in history tv products are now available at the new c-span online store. go to c-span store .org, to see what's new in american history to, check out all to c-span products. up next visit the international spy museum in washington d.c.. detour their exhibit on cold war berlin. our guide is the curator alexis, who explains how the city came to be divided after world war ii, and shows this artifacts used by the east german's to spy on visitors, and control their own citizens. hello, i'm doctor alexis abe, and i'm a curator historian here at the international spy museum, in
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washington d.c.. if the largest collection of espionage, and intelligence related artifacts in the world, and today we are going to be looking at cold war berlin. after world war ii ended, germany was divided, between victors, that's united states, france, united kingdom, and soviet union. soviet union occupied east and other three countries, that included capital city of berlin. which was also divided into four sectors, one per each of the victors, again with the soviets, occupying the eastern zone of berlin, and the three western powers, occupying the westerns of berlin. the start of the division of germany. and the division of maryland, after the war, at that division became concrete. with the direction of the berlin wall, in 1961. now
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the wall was put up, by the eastern offensively to keep people out. in new years after world war ii, and with the occupation of east germany, and east berlin by the soviets, hundreds of thousands of people, in the east, had been fleeing to the west. these numbers became larger and larger. it was a terrible train of intelligence, and of skills in the east these numbers were reaching, very very large numbers, in the months leading up to august. these germans called what we call the berlin wall, the anti fascist fort. it was extensively as i said, to keep out the fascist, to keep up the west. but of course it
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did keep millions of east germans in as well. what's important to realize, is that the city of berlin, was completely isolated, within east germany, we had west berlin, which after the war, was set up with a political and economic system, that was democratic, capitalist, completely surrounded by communist east germany. it's oberlin became a symbol of a division between east and west, and between the democratic systems in the cold, war it was a hot spot for many many years during the cold war, of that tension between east and west. the berlin wall itself, was about 96 miles long. completely separating, us berlin from east
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berlin. but also completely surrounding west berlin, again cutting it off from the rest of east germany,. we have a couple of pieces of the actual berlin wall over here that i like to show we ship them over, i think about the graffiti and the color in the lines are on the walls. these are completely plane, that's because they're on the east side, where people are not allowed to graffiti on the wall. in fact that would've been encouraged some pretty severe penalties. one reason
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why did you not want people drawing on the wall. was because having the wall be completely plane, actually made it easier, for people, for the guards to regarding the border, it made them more visible against light gray or white backgrounds. seeing them without graffiti actually should remind us of the reason why the wall was put up. the key people in, for the berlin wall was built, several million, up to 3 million people, actually across the border, from east to west. after the berlin wall was put, up people didn't stop trying to get out of these germany. about 100,000 people tried to get out. but have that number, were successful. we have some great stories about people who were successful in getting across the wall. to attempt to cross
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the berlin wall, took a lot of bravery of course, but also a lot of creativity and imagination, in truth the world and wall is not just one wall, sexually to walls, with this trip in the middle, that was known as the death strip, which could be guarded by guard dogs, where there were watchtowers, actually had one wall, a deaf trip, and another wall, getting across that, was an extremely difficult to beat, people come up with some amazingly creative ways to get across that wall, we have a few examples here, for example, two families, who actually built hot air balloons, and were able to float across, into west germany. they made the balloon part, out of sheets, and other pieces of material, which they stick together, and to families actually able to
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make that trip. >> we've another extraordinary story here about three brothers, who each managed to cross the border in weighs, one rather footed across the river, on an air mattress, another brother, was able to zip line across the border, to some fishing line, connected it to steal cable, and shouted across the border. using a bow and arrow, and then use that as a zip line, to zip across to freedom, the third brother, was actually able to fly across the, border with a very small like airplane, his other brothers met him on the other side where they reunited. these stories are stories of success, people who managed to make it across to freedom, of course there are many stories that ended in tragedy, let's look at some of this now >> at least 140 people were killed, trying to cross the berlin wall, some of those
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people, were killed by border guards, because they tried to climb the wall, because it tried to cross the river, as they just approached the wall, there were sad stories about people who were shot there, and died at the wall, some of the most tragic stories, i think were about people who tried to cross the wall, whose deaths were actually covered up, you see, trying to escape from east germany, was a crime, and it was seen as a terrible reflection on the state, on the communism in general, not given the fact that people wanted to try to escape, something that the state needed to cover up, they were called him whenever there was a death at the wall, we need three stories hero people who died at the wall, and their stories were then covered up. one really tragic story, i, think it's about
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gerald,'s he was a worker in west berlin, one night it appears he had too much to drink and he stumbled, into the area near the wall. stumbled close to the wall, and the guards there, from the east, shouted at him, wanting to go away, he was scared off by that and started running, it was then shot, 177 times, he died at the wall. they came, into the way his body, covered up the whole story, his wife back in west berlin, knew nothing, only that her husband had not come home that night. and she didn't find out until the records were opened in the 1990s. what actually happened here has been. it is more extraordinary because after he was killed, the stats he
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actually created a entire cover story as to why he had never. returned they went so far as to show her a final where they had staged photographs of her husband's career, which they said had been broken into violently. this was entirely made up. i did think it was suspicious. she again wasn't able to find out the truth until decades later. let's take a look at another method by which people are trying to escape from east berlin over here. one method for trying to escape from east or west berlin, going through checkpoints was to hide within cars. here we have eight cut away, a popular car and he's germany at the time, you can see some of the hiding spaces where people will try to fit themselves into in order to evade border guards.
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could you imagine fitting yourself into the wheel hole of a car. sometimes for hours on ends, without having tried to give it away. not everyone succeeded in this. border guards made it very aware that people were hiding, sometimes taking them apart completely. when they did catch people, we know that sometimes, they would make people show where they had hit in, take pictures where they show them exactly, and you can see women and children, adults, in those amazing places where they would try to hide. >> the state security known as the stars he was ubiquitous, and anyone in the country, the
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palace hotel who was a hotels that was built especially for foreign guests. it had rooms in the hotel that work completely under surveillance by the way just as you nest was its name. here are some incredible artifacts that showed the lengths that the stasi went to spy on visitors. this looks like a cuckoo clock. of course it is not. it has been modified. if you take a close look you might be able to see that behind the window where the cuckoo would come out is a pinhole. behind it would be this camera. it is a rare and wonderful piece. through the wall camera. somebody would be located on the other side of the well but looking through
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the pieces here. this long section here would be through the wall. right bob pinball cork a camera here. wow you are sitting in your hotel you would be spied upon by someone in the hotel. there are many artifacts in the room. every single one was some kind of device for concealment. what is the best thing to use as a concealment? something that you would think would never conceal anything suspicious. we have a few of those pieces. here is one of them began a walnut shell. well it shows on the table, and the apartment, who would think anyone's thing suspicious about the. well one of the walnut shells here actually contains a piece of paper with codes on it
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that can be used to communicate codes. they were an important way of communicating secretly. they were unbreakable. someone who had accepted the same pad on the other side could break the code and read the secret message. this bowl of walnuts was actually in the apartment of someone in west germany who was a the stasi spot. the west germany policemen had an idea that this bowl of walnuts would not be what it looked like. they took a uv light and shined it over every single one. not one of them, there was a glow. that is because the glue that was used to stick the one that's together, they were able to find a onetime, here is another object that you might
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not suspect as oh as being anything other than ordinary. again it was a stasi subject. as tennessee agent living in west germany which is a, mess she can keep some paper, is that and what is cool about this is that if someone did come into the apartment and was looking around she could incinerate the evidence of her espionage i ostensibly plugging in the iron. there's some other gadgets here but again a concealment for other things. one of my favorites is the pair of gloves here that conceals a camera. many cameras like this, usually used with two hands. you use a second hand to wind
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the film on. yay the stasi where it will to adapt the camera to be used on one hand. it could be concealed. things like gloves. it could be activated with just one hand. therefore, it would not look very suspicious if you had a camera in your glove. you can activate with one hand. take secret photos. va even when you are visiting the spy museum, you are on surveillance, and the surveillance can be seen in our stasi office right here--. here in our stasi office where people could actually watch surveillance feed taking place in our room. all of the facts here reflect the stasi
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incredible expertise and doing surveillance. one of my favorite artifacts here is the bra camera. it was actually the invention of forced as he that officers. it shows how this was invented. they made a proposal to the stasi because they said especially during the summer months there, was no clothing that helped women conceal surveillance cameras on their body. that would be unobtrusive. they devise this camera. you can see the lens is right in the middle. there is a word that comes out from behind. the camera could be activated with this planter here that would be in the pocket of your summer dress. we have some surveillance photos that were taken by this camera? before women were given an
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award for bravery. it was used. it has a name medal. we have a number of other artifacts. here some of our exceptional artifacts are over on the side. that the chief of the stasi foreign military branch was wolf. he was a spy master. and he ran the intelligence branch for 40 years. he was a master of doing. so one of the techniques he developed was that developing people he called romeo spies. these were men and women specially trained to seduce their targets. they targeted let's say secretaries, nato, other maybe not so young but maybe women who were a little older like in their thirties for example, seduce
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them and get intelligence from them. then the intelligence under marcus wolf had success infiltrating the german governments even up to the high levels of the west german chancellor ship. he had a reputation as well in the west for being extremely elusive. he was the man without a face. it was sad because they knew of him. they had no idea what he looked like. they scored photos that were coming out of east germany to find out what this man looked like. it was not until the very end of the cold war that they were actually able to identify. we have some artifacts for marcus wolf himself. here is his full dress uniform right here. then we also have these oak horns. what are they doing? here marcus
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wolf had a summer house outside of berlin. he went to use it. this va he would debrief them and get information from them. having a barrel perhaps outside on the terrace. they were being accorded all of the time. the accords had a bug planted on the back. there will also beer coasters here. they belonged to marcus wolf. the leadership in west germany had workers where they could retreat to if they could, he also had his bunker. he turned it into a. beerhouse he had these beer coasters especially. made they had this little cartoonish figure here of a lengths. that was his nickname. the stars the
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officers obviously had to undergo a lot of training. there is a artifact here which oh stasi officers would have received and training. let's have a look. we have our display here. it is called the stasi criminal list. get espionage was of course a crime. so how do you catch criminals. there anyone who is training to be a spy catcher on east poland would have taken a course in east berlin and at the end of it they would have received this complete kit. everything you need to catch a spa. and that you could see a lot of mundane articles. a hammer. a screwdriver. a pair of players. rubber gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints for example. a place where you can
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store hair and fiber samples. pouch is for documents that you might find along the way an entire kit for a spy catcher. now if you are cause a spike there were serious consequences in east berlin. let's look at the interrogation. see what would have happened to you. this is a prison door from a prison outside of east. berlin it is the actual door from one of the prison cells. this prison houses political prisoners. from someone who had tried to escape from east berlin. someone who is recorder by one of their coworkers, neighbors. having some ideas or fats that are incompatible with
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the communist system. someone suspected of having links what the west. anything of that nature. people would be brought into the prisons. objected with interrogation. the dauphin stasi didn't believe in physical torture. they develop their own interrogation methods. focus more on psychological. in the prison someone might be subjected to a very cold temperature. they would not be allowed to sleep for a very long. they would be asked to lie about a hotbed in a particular position. hands on some. what's they would get shut it out for not doing. so it was part of the strategy for
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breaking someone down psychologically so that they would get the information that stasi wanted and potentially confessed crimes that they did or did not commit. even if they were released from prison, they could still remain a suspect. the stasi had a unique way of keeping tabs on them. we'll take a look at that story next. >> va stasi the brat people for questioning another piece of information they might be collecting they might have this person sit on a chair with a piece of material, usually it was a yellow piece of material, after they were finished talking to them, they would collect that piece of material, and they would store it in a jar. on a shelf. with her name on. it just in case perhaps in the future they needed to track
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this person. dogs were specially trained to track the smiles. we have some of these sent jurors here, as you can see the yellow material inside them, the stasi had hundreds of these from different people. they stored in their headquarters. another artifact here. of a similar nature. it is called a dock hormone kit. if the stasi wanted to track someone in the city. they might spray female back hormones under the door. as the person walked out of the door they would step on it get the dock hormone on their shoes. and specially trained male dogs who could track these hormones in the city even for days sometimes. in 1989 the berlin wall fell. the world does not
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exist today. i know that increasingly visitors to the museum don't remember the berlin wall. don't remember east berlin. the cold war. so here at the museum we have this exhibit on cold war berlin. to many visitors it will be when it was something that they don't know anything about it all i think it's important for us to remember at the time, and physical barrier divided people from the same country, into two differences societies and remove the differences between the societies. stormy isn't example of a surveillance state, we often talk about that balance between security and freedom, is germany as an example of where, the emphasis was certainly on security, over freedom. and we think it's
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important, for people to remember, on a state like that was like. but it might have felt like, and all the artifacts in here, are giving people a taste of what it might have been like, to live in a surveillance state, like east germany. we have hundreds of artifacts, in this museum today, we have just given you a taste of what is in our east berlin, cold war balloon exhibit. we hope you come to washington d.c., visit the museum, and see our other exhibits, or other aspects of international espionage. you can watch this or other american artifacts, anytime by visiting our website, c-span.org slash history. >> h week, american history tv 's real america brings you archival films that provide context for today's public affairs issues,,.
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>> is american is tree tv and
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c-span 3, were each weekend we feature 48 hours of programs, slowing our nation's past.
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civil rights financiers congressman john will talk about rosa parks and her long history of civil rights activism. they highlight protest. it's to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit. the library of congress. please welcome the library of congress, doctor carla hidden. good evening and welcome to the library of congress, it is

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