A new border crossing, Günthers/Motzlar, November 1989: At the new border crossing [2/27]



November 10 - December 10 1989
Near Tann (Rhön), between Günthers and Motzlar
Created By: Karl-Heinz Pongs

License: Creative Commons License

At the new border crossing between Guenthers, a part of the town Tann (Rhoen) in Hesse, and Motzlar, a part of Schleid, in Suhl district, now Thuringia


border guard, car, flag, group of people, inner German border, military vehicle, national colours, signboard, street


fall of the Berlin Wall, inner German border, roadmaking


Günthers/Motzlar border crossing, Tann (Rhön)

Other items in this set


"The border situation in the Tann-Rhön region is best illustrated by referring to an old map of the district: since 1945 the so-called Iron Curtain encircled an area comprising several villages and the small town of Tann, an area that had belonged together for more than 800 years.

Due to the extreme western tip of Thuringia surrounding the town of Geisa it was feared this would be the geographic point at which the Red Army would invade West Germany should the East-West conflict erupt into actual warfare. The region was notoriously referred to as the 'Fulda Gap' and even became known in the USA. As a result, the equally renowned 'Point Alpha' was established between Geisa (in Thuringia) and Rasdorf (in Hesse) with observation posts and watchtowers on both sides of the inner German border. The West side was guarded by a US regiment stationed in Fulda and the East by the National People’s Army of the GDR. After 1989 'Point Alpha' was turned into a fascinating border museum and memorial site.

Prior to 1945 numerous factors were involved in forging the close-knit nature of the Northern Rhoen community even beyond the (at the time almost meaningless) Hesse-Thuringia border. Geographic as well as historical circumstances led to various affiliations between families, associations, municipalities and educational institutions. Owing to the close bond that had developed between Ulster Valley and Felda Valley residents over generations, their unexpected reunion following the border opening on 9/10 November 1989 was all the more powerful. Even the road link between Günthers and Motzlar was restored within a matter of days and seemed like a second, (albeit smaller) miracle! The street had been destroyed by Russian forces in 1945 (as well as the railway line that ran parallel with it) and was subsequently disrupted by the border strip (a mined death strip with a barrier fence). On November 21, 1989, a political decision to reconstruct the street was made in Wiesbaden and earthworks commenced in the formerly mined terrain on November 23, 1989. The street was reopened in early December and greatly welcomed by all residents."

Karl-Heinz Pongs

Original Caption

"Former border death strip with GDR and FRG flags."