German Of The Day: Disneyfizierung

That means Disneyfication.

Checkpoint

Just stop by Checkpoint Charlie sometime and see for yourself.

Authorities in Germany’s capital Berlin have banned local performers from wearing US army uniforms at Checkpoint Charlie, the iconic Cold War crossing between the east and west of the city.

They said the actors exploited tourists by demanding money for photos at the attraction…

People impersonating US soldiers have been at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly 20 years, working in rotation to pose with tourists.

But many Berliners are unhappy about the “Disneyfication” of the site, where fake Soviet Red Army fur hats, gas masks and pieces of the Berlin Wall can be found for sale.

A Disneyland, a falsification of history, a tasteless mockery?

Wait a minute, let me think. Sure, I guess it is.

Checkpoint Charlies in action

“Even we notice the crisis,” one of them (one of two painted figures who stand as if frozen in front of the Brandenburg Gate) complained during a rare coffee break in which they were allowed to open their mouths. “We’re not getting the trade that we used to.” The pair were charging tourists €1 apiece to be photographed with them.

At the former Checkpoint Charlie site, the desires of undiscerning Berlin visitors are even better catered for. The area is awash with tour buses. Hot dogs are being churned out by a fast food bar called “Snackpoint Charlie” and a replica wooden hut surrounded by sandbags simulates the original Allied checkpoint.

“In an attempt to cash in on a perceived “Ostalgie” or nostalgia for the former Communist state in the east, politicians have come forward with revisionist remarks about its former regime.”