Berlin Pols Target 'Disneyland' Soldiers

They're turning serious monument into 'Disneyland:' officials
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 15, 2009 4:41 PM CDT
Tourists stroll in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in this July 27, 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
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(Newser) – German politicians want the fake Cold War soldiers who pose near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate gone, because they’re turning a somber symbol of the nation’s unification into “Disneyland,” Der Spiegel reports. The performers don American, East German, and Soviet military gear and snap photos with tourists for money. “Such soldiers never stood there,” an official points out. “It’s a falsification of history.”

“Tourists like us,” retorts one of the performers. “We make this area more of an attraction.” They certainly fill a void for visitors disappointed by Berlin’s dearth of Cold War remnants, but officials still don't like it. They have already banned sausage and souvenir hawks from the monument and have tried before to remove similar “soldiers” from Checkpoint Charlie—a former crossing between Germany’s East and West.