Former Iron Curtain oddity now a tourist hotspot

By Caroline Copley

MOEDLAREUTH, Germany – A tiny village of 50 residents straddling the former border dividing East and West Germany and nicknamed “Little Berlin” has preserved its own 100-meter section of the Iron Curtain — for tourists.

For more than 38 years Moedlareuth belonged to two different countries and ideological systems. The 2.5 meter (eight foot) high Wall, similar to the famous Berlin Wall, remains a fixture in the village center even 20 years after Communism collapsed.

Nowadays the farming hamlet that lies some 300 km (186 miles) south of Berlin has become a prime destination for tourists searching for the remnants of the Communist era when East and West Germany were divided.

“Visitors can come here to get a real glimpse of what it was like to live here with the Wall running through the middle of the village,” said Robert Lebegern, director of the Deutsch-Deutsches Museum in the heart of Moedlareuth.

For four decades the villagers of Moedlareuth were divided by the Iron Curtain. Half of the village was in the old German kingdom of Bavaria, the other part lay in the eastern state of Thuringia. It was one bizarre aspect of the country’s division.