Weekend Open Thread – “Letzter Zug in die Freiheit”

| February 15, 2019

In an earlier article, I’ve written about Heinz Meixner’s daring escape with his fiancée and mother-in-law to be from East Berlin via driving through Checkpoint Charlie. Today’s article is about another daring escape from East Berlin by vehicle – and one which was somewhat more spectacular.

. . .

Harry Deterling was a railroad engineer in East Germany. He also was decidedly not a fan of the post-World War II East German government.

Unfortunately, he had been a bit outspoken in his dislike for the East German regime. The East German authorities predictably were not pleased with Herr Deterling; his being shipped off to a work camp was a distinct possibility. He’d already been threatened with exactly that.

Deterling began looking for a way to escape to West Berlin as soon as the Berlin Wall went up. And he decided that he wanted to take his relatives with him.

As a train engineer working in Berlin, Deterling knew the track layout fairly well. And he heard something very interesting one day: several rail lines connecting East and West Berlin were still intact. That is, though blocked the tracks themselves were still in place. However, they were going to be dismantled soon.

Deterling now enlisted the help of his normal stoker, Hartmut Lichy. Fortunately for Deterling, Lichy also wanted to go West. He agreed to help Deterling and his relatives.

Deterling told his family and friends he was going; ditto Lichy. Twenty-three others accompanied them on the day he would make the attempt.

That day was 5 December 1961 – a bit less than 4 months after the Berlin Wall was first erected.

Deterling’s route that day was one he’d volunteered for. He’d specifically chosen to volunteer for that route because it would bring him close to the Wall on one of the lines that still was intact between East and West Berlin. He approached that point.

The train had a designated stop near the Wall. Deterling didn’t slow to stop; he accelerated instead. The guards near the scheduled stop were caught “flat-footed” and were unable to respond in time; no shots were fired.

The train hurtled down the abandoned track. It crashed through the track blockade.

The train then slowed to a stop. Everyone on board was uninjured.

They were now in West Berlin.

Deterling, Lichy, and the 23 others who’d accompanied them remained in West Berlin. Seven others on-board who weren’t “in on the plan” elected to return to East Berlin.

East German forces dismantled and more strongly barricaded the tracks used by Deterling the following day.

—–

Sources:

http://listverse.com/2017/08/12/top-10-remarkable-escapes-across-the-berlin-wall/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/07/berlin-wall-escape-stories_n_6090602.html

http://mentalfloss.com/article/28517/8-creative-ways-people-went-over-berlin-wall


http://www.chronik-der-mauer.de/en/chronicle/_year1961/_month12/?month=12&year=1961&opennid=177122&moc=1

. . .

OK, enough Cold War history. Enjoy the WOT and weekend, everyone. “And hey – be careful out there.”

 

Author’s Note: The subtitle is what Deterling called his train that day. It’s English translation is, “The last train to freedom.”

Category: Historical, Open thread

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Veritas Omnia Vincit

FIRST!!

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Wow a few of us were ready to hit go on this one…

Ex-PH2

Somebody take the “underline” divot off the comments? If you don’t, Sister Mary Grace will find you….

5th/77th FA

Now we know. The underlining slowed down the post comment and cheated me out of my 3 pete. Yeah that’s what it was! I wuz robbed. All these negative waves, let’s see, one was “Lord let it be somebody else”, another “he’s been unbearable lately” I FIRST read that as an unbeatable typo, but now we know. Formal Protest!…Informal protest!…Collusion…Trumps fault… VoV you have had some very good examples of proper lording over. Don’t let… Read more »

AW1Ed

(been waiting for this)
5/77, your complaint has been noted. Please feel free to submit your complaint to THA’s WW HQ for disapproval. You may re-submit your complaint in 90 days for further disapproval. The Staff at THA’s WW HQ stands ready to provide superior services to our Delta Whiskies and Whiskettes; have a TAH Day!

11B-Mailclerk

You forgot the $100 filing fee.

AW1Ed

Think you dropped a zero, 11B.

Maybe two.
*grin*

SFC D

I believe the FIRST negative comment was “Please dear lord, let it be another one”. I believe your latest FIRST got stuck in Hillary’s server.

5th/77th FA

And the other guilty party rears his head. I still have a total of 3 FIRSTS!, on the Friday WOT. That’s 3 times more than Das Hildabeast has been pres.

SFC D

I never said I wasn’t guilty, I just like the accusation to be accurate.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

I’m not good at lording over anyone…too much of libertarian wienie for that I think…

But I’ll take a couple of cold adult beverages and some wings to enjoy the win!!

5th/77th FA

Not an option. Lording over the miscreants is required. It’s in the contract.

SFC D

Yup. when you’re king of the WOT, you get to be a benevolent dickhead instead of a dickweed. But only for a week!

26Limabeans

Why has thy Lord foresaken us?
Can we not share in your wine and bread?

AW1Ed

As you wish, Ma’am. No need to pull the SMG gun. Please give her a glass of sherry and the seat by the fire, and all will be fine.

HMCS(FMF) ret

I thought that it was Sister Mary Elephant that was the Disciplinary Nun at Our Father of the Immaculant Reception Parocial School for wayward boys?

Wilted Willy

Congrat’s VOV, I was too tied up with work today to try and win 1st! Happy Friday to all my TAH friends and I hope you all have a great weekend!

5th/77th FA

1st

5th/77th FA

Good post Hondo. I like this series you been giving us. Thanks!

HMC Ret

first

HMC Ret

Darn it, foiled again by the Master

HMC Ret

On this date in history, 15FEB in 1898 … There are varying opinions re the cause of the explosion, but I believe the consensus is it was caused by an internal blast. Your opinion may vary. 15 February 1898 – A massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard. One of the first American battleships, the Maine weighed… Read more »

5th/77th FA

Wondered if/when this one would come up. Tanks HMC Ret. Some have questioned whether this episode, The Admiral Perry Japan Expedition, or the whole Barbary Pirates deal was the beginning of US “Gun Boat Diplomacy”. IIRC from some research back yonder, TR used this episode to push his Big Stick Philosophy.

5th/77th FA

Well just damn you Windstream. Mere nano seconds. Congratulations to VoV and winning this weeks Friday Weekend Open Thread FIRST. I know better than to appeal to the TAH Wide World of Sports HQs. The coveted 3 pete was not to be. I begrudgedly turn over the Crown. Good Job my man!

Commissioner Wretched

Ah well … once again the coveted First in the WOT escapes me. Curses, drat and double drat! I’ll console myself with posting the week’s trivia column early, so I can finish this furshlugginer move into the new digs. Enjoy, friends. DID YOU KNOW…? Was the actor playing Jesus nearly killed by lightning during filming of “The Passion of the Christ?” By Commissioner Wretched This week, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Ah, Valentine’s Day … a… Read more »

Commissioner Wretched

I’m not sure how all that got to be underlined, but if anybody knows how to correct it, I’d be grateful.

5th/77th FA

“not sure how all that figures together”…..Here’s a theory…Love is an epileptic fit….Marriage can become a plague. Marriage is kinda sorta like a card game. You start out with a coupla hearts and a diamond. After awhile you start looking for a club and a spade.

Keep ’em coming CW; we’ll keep reading ’em!

Ex-PH2
11B-Mailclerk

There is a glitch on the Web page. An underscore command was added, probably for the end of the article item, and never closed. This all subsequent text is underlined.

Web-whoops.

Cowpill

11th!

AnotherPat

This is so funny…everything being underlined…Best WOT Ever..

Ok, time to fess up. Hondo? Ed? Dave?

whodidit

😆😅😂🤣😄

AW1Ed

I fixed it, and that’s all I’m sayin’…

AnotherPat

Durn….

Underline was becoming a conversation piece…

Now if Ed can only fix the Navy for next year’s game…NOT!!!

😉 goarmybeatnavy

AW1Ed

*grin*

AnotherPat

LMAO!!!

Oh, well.. as the ole saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for…😅😂😆😄👍👏👏

tahadminrules

5th/77th FA

Don’t matter, he can’t fix the Navy Football team (sic)(goarmybeatnavy) and he WON’T fix the Friday Weekend Open Thread FIRST that I wuz robbed on a 3 pete. Hey I just thought of something. If VoV is now a contributing poster that makes him extry admin, which would disqualify him, as a member of staff, from being eligible for the FIRST. Where dahell is Claw and 2/17 Air Cav when I need a ruling? Has… Read more »

AW1Ed

Must I repeat myself? But you are fortunate, the THA WW Hq Complaints Board has heard your claim. Since they were waiting for another pitcher and platter of hot wings while the Women’s Beach Vollyball vid was booting up, they found your claim amusing in the extreme, and even waived the 90 day cooling off period. And denied it on the spot. So it goes. Seems VoV does not have access to TAH’s dashboard; and… Read more »

5th/77th FA

Kuoirses, foiled again, on a technicality.

But you’ve got to admit
that the argument fit!

(wanders off mumbling something about next week, kicking at rocks)

AW1Ed

Glad to help. Go Navy!

Skyjumper

UNDERLINE, UNDERLINE UNDERLINE…….!

UNDERLINE THIS!! 😉

(Just seeing if the “underline showing on other posts will show up on mine)

Oh yeah, 40teenth.

Congrats VOV!

AnotherPat

Here’s a Friday Feel Good Story:

President Trump to a Liberal News Reporter at this morning’s Press Conference:

“SIT DOWN!!!”

Love it…

orangemangood

Skyjumper

“An underline is a section of text in a document where the words have a line running beneath them. For example, this text should be underlined. Underlined text is commonly used to help draw attention to text. Today, underlines are commonly used to represent a hyperlink on a web page.” (grin)

AnotherPat

Am taking bets on who initiated the underline.

Sorry, Hondo…but I think it might have been you…

😉😎

hondojustapawningameoflife

11B-Mailclerk

Would that be the

(Puts on sunglasses)

Over/under line?

ChipNASA

#democratsandsomedickweedshavehackedTAHwithmysterousUNDERLINING

#altrightagainstunderlining

#twentysomethingbitches

Roh-Dog

Have a great weekend y’all!
Underlined, but not read, Signed Roh-Dog

Cameron Kingsley

I was debating on rather I wanted ask this or not. But I was wondering on what everyone’s opinion on this comment by New Zealander Paul Darrall on his views of the Purple Heart.(https://m.facebook.com/iloveww2planes/posts/2309009469376739?comment_id=2309235919354094) I honestly find him to be a very pompous ass who thinks his shit don’t stink. I’m not sure if he has any prior military service.

MrBill

He’s a dickhead. Your response was very appropriate.

Cameron Kingsley

You mean the Wikipedia link to Private Ralph Ignatowski I put there? It like him and Peter Piper (his butt buddy) seem to think a wound chevron is better when there is no difference between it and than the Purple Heart other than its not a medal. Not exactly something I would want awarded to me either. I sure hope Iggy’s family was not told the whole story about how he died and his funeral… Read more »

BlueCord Dad

I don’t know what number I am(24th maybe?) but I wanted to get in on the whole underline thing 🙂

The Other Whitey

For those 40k fans out there, a follow-up to the God-Emperor thread from the other day: https://youtu.be/qyGDo1ARpjI A Veteran Brother-Sergeant of the Ultramarines gives his opinion on why the Imperial Guard are the most hardcore fighters in the 40k-verse. Guardsmen are regular, unaltered humans with rifles and flak jackets against space communists with nuclear lasers, giant space orcs, space robot zombies, space demons with chainsaws and tank guns, racist space elves with advanced technology, evil… Read more »

11B-Mailclerk

(Holds up hi-tek salt shaker)

Weeoooeeoooooeerroooorrrp

The geek is strong in this one, Jim.

The Other Whitey

Yeah. And?

26Limabeans

I don’t want to spoil the ending but that looked like a Glock in the last few frames.

NHSparky

Not first, not last.

Those of you getting a long weekend, enjoy. I’ll celebrate on Sunday, then right back at it.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Great article on the WOT as well! Nice bit of derring-do to escape those commie bastards. On a non-historical note, to combat the winter blues in New England, Boston has the New England boat show wrapping up this weekend. Good time to go look at fun things to do on the water that will separate you nicely from your hard earned cash… The wife and I can’t really justify a brand spanking new sailboat but… Read more »

NHSparky

RV shows are the same thing.

And in New England, you get about as much use from them.

Mine is a seasonal at a campground open from mid-May through mid-October.

A Proud Infidel®™️

PRESENT, 49rd and Honorary First once again.

((((OVER))))

5th/77th FA

And bernasty is still maintaining minus 6 feet AGL AND ambient dirt temperature.

((((OVER))))

Graybeard

First in the Hearts and Minds of my Grandchildren, so VOV can just go lord it over the Delta Whiskey/Whiskeyetts of TAH as a condolence prize. In other news, the medical transport company that takes my brother from his nursing home to the doctors appointments got him there a full 1 hour and 20 minutes after the time of the appointment. They are now 4 for 4 in being late – including one time when… Read more »

HMCS(FMF) ret

Rememeber – “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.

Graybeard

Well, He-ahl, with the current government provided healtcare system, they won’t even get you to your doctor.

SOP for socialists, I know.

26Limabeans

Not First. Just an underling.

Ex-PH2

I thought you all might enjoy this cartoon, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Put the beverage down, then open the link.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/02/15/friday-funny-welcome-to-the-aocene/

26Limabeans

Love it. The net is overheating with all the memes. She is Gold Jerry! Gold!

My favorite Saturday morning link has me laughing as well.

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/the-week-in-pictures-green-new-deal-edition.php

Scroll down to the Super Cool Coastie dogs.
Best USCG pic ever.

HMCS(FMF) ret

The last one in the series is pretty hot….

AW1Ed

Thanks!

Ex-PH2

I want a T-shirt with the protesting cows on it!

I will find it, and I will wear it in public.

3/10/MED/b

I was a Army leg medic.(Some are setting their outgoing fire coordinates on that statement alone…)
Where does ‘Bravo Zulu’ come from? I know what it means, as praise for someone who did exceptionally well, but what are the origins of it?

(preparing for incoming…)

AW1Ed

It’s OK, 3/10, I’ll use primary colors and words of no more that two syllables when possible in recognition of your dogginess. This works well for Flag briefs, too. The term originates from an Allied Signals Book. Simply, the ‘Bravo’ indicates which code group to use, and the ‘Zulu’ adds more specific information. So “Bravo Zulu” was a naval signal, conveyed by flag hoist or voice radio, meaning “Well Done.” What could possibly be clearer?… Read more »

OWB

If that was the clear explanation, would hate to hear the complicated version.

Where’s the code book? What is a “Bravo” code group? And what specific information does the “Zulu” add?

Just kidding. As long as you swear it means something good…

AW1Ed

I am here to help. The term originates from the Allied Signals Book (ATP 1), which in the aggregate is for official use only. Signals are sent as letters and/or numbers, which have meanings by themselves sometimes or in certain combinations. A single table in ATP 1 is called “governing groups,” that is, the entire signal that follows the governing group is to be performed according to the “governor.” The letter “B” indicates this table,… Read more »

OWB

Well, in that case, Bravo Alpha *&-@#)–!**

sj

Just like Navy ranks.

26Limabeans

Did somebody say Signal?

3/10/MED/b

“Primary colors”
and monosyllabic terms made the coffee spew.
Thanks, AW1ED.
BravoZulu.

Sapper3307

Video.

HMC Ret

Hacksaw Ridge, the movie about Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss, just started on The History Channel, 1900 Saturday

IDC SARC

If you’ve never read his CMOH citation, it’s something ya gotta see.

He got wounded horribly in the movie, but the truth is Hollywood made the wounds less severe than he actually suffered. Ya gotta read that citation.

IDC SARC

goddamm typos

AW1Ed

Look for a Valor Friday write up, soon.

HMC Ret

I read MoH citations and simply have no words for what has been done. Of all those I have read, however, Doss’ is the one that resonates most with me. Two awesome things took place here: the physical fortitude required and the bravery, the total disregard for oneself, simply defies understanding on my part. I am humbled by his actions.

Mason

And to hear him tell it, it was all God acting through him. So painfully humble.

AW1Ed

Comment moved per Claw’s request. Having come across a quote from a pretty smart feller the other day that goes like this: “Try not to become a man of success but a man of value” – Albert Einstein And then remembering a conversation with rgr769 from the other day about the Gunga Dan Line, I thought a David Letterman type of Top 10 list would be in order. So here is the TAH official list… Read more »

Claw

Thank You for the move, AW1Ed. Don’t know how I managed to get it posted to the wrong thread. Brain Fart I guess. (At least that’ll be the story I stick to)/smile

HMC Ret

Claw: Don’t feel too bad. I managed to post a link to my entire email account this past week. I’m hoping none of you reprobates found the links to my many porn sites. JK

Dave removed it for me, hopefully before any damage was done.

Claw

Looks like I missed one that needs to be inserted as #03.5:

Jessica Marie Fambrough – 25 days

HMC Ret

Oh, yeah, she’s one my my favorites.

rgr769

Thanks for the apparent credit, but I think you miss-typed my handle, AW; no caps and no hyphen.

AW1Ed

*sigh* No good deed goes unpunished. Fixed Claw’s comment to state ‘rgr769.’ Everyone happy? ‘Cause I quit being board editor and spell checker for the evening. Oh, rgr769, call me what you will, but AW1 works best if in a rush. It’s a dog whistle that has perked my ears up for a very long time, followed by either ‘why is this so fucked up?’ or ‘how can we unfuck ourselves?’ Generally my reply started… Read more »

rgr769

Thanks, AW1; with that hyphen, I was afraid I might be unmasked. Don’t want to be a defendant in one of them lawsuits we have heard about here. I just read a book you and your fellow squids may like: “Blind Man’s Bluff,” the story of the Navy’s sub-service Cold War operations.

rgr769

And I haven’t been a lieutenant since 1970, if we are being rank conscious.

AW1Ed

Heh. I haven’t been a real AW since 1996, and I was just making an example, not directing anything at you. Apologies if I came off that way.

rgr769

No offense taken. I was just harkening back to my last 1LT days when I was so deep in the jungle that I had to wait for three weeks before the LTC could find an LZ so he could come out and pin on my railroad tracks.

rgr769

I read a beat up paper back someone gave me. You can likely buy a used one on Amazon for about five bucks. I love how it tells that many honchos in Naval intelligence tried to convince the CIA that the Glomar Explorer op wouldn’t work and our spy subs would have a better chance of getting key intel out of the hull without having to lift the whole sub up from the ocean floor.… Read more »

AW1Ed

RUMINT has it as the entire year’s budget allocated for Navy-wide Antisubmarine Warfare. Small wonder the Admirals squawked.

Sapper3307

Sir WikiLeaks was dropped out of basic early also.

Claw

Sir Wikileaks wasn’t even a contender for the TAH Top Ten Bedwetters, he had triple digit (117 days) “service” before being kicked to the curb./s

Devtun

Swiss actor Bruno Ganz has passed away. His role as Hitler in the 2004 film “Downfall” became an internet sensation due to the numerous memes it generated.

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/02/16/actor-bruno-ganz-hitler-portrayal-anchored-countless-memes-died/

5th/77th FA

Now that there is some funny sh*t, I don’t care who you are!

Devtun

Been awhile since I’ve watched this. Just pure genius. Birdbath gone, but definitely not forgotten. May he rest in pieces.