When the Cold War split the German city of Berlin in half, between East and West, one neighborhood was trapped in the middle. For more than twenty years, the hamlet of Steinstuecken was caught in a tug-of-war between the Americans and the Communists. Steinstuecken: A Little Pocket of Freedom, tells this hamlet’s story against the backdrop of the Cold War in Western Europe.
Steinstuecken officially belonged to the U.S. Occupation Sector of Berlin. But, it was located outside the city boundaries, completely surrounded by East German territory. No West Berlin-owned roads or trails connected it to the city. It was a de facto Western island in a Communist sea.
America could have turned its back on Steinstuecken—but it didn’t. U.S. officials in Berlin rose to the hamlet’s defense. American diplomats interceded often with the Soviet occupation authorities on its behalf. During the Berlin Wall crisis, the Americans sent a Military Police (MP) patrol to the village to ensure its safety.
Steinstuecken: A Little Pocket of Freedom describes the challenges America faced in occupied Berlin and the courage so many West Berliners showed when facing the Soviet soldiers on a daily basis.
In this book, you’ll read about:
- The American general who held firm against the Communists when they tried to take over Steinstuecken in late 1951. From that moment on, America’s flag was firmly “planted” in the village.
- Lucius Clay, the Army general who was the hero of the Berlin Airlift. When the Berlin Wall crisis erupted, Clay returned to Berlin as President Kennedy’s special emissary—and made a dramatic helicopter flight to Steinstuecken, to emphasize America’s commitment to keeping the village—and Berlin—free.
- Ernst Reuter, the legendary mayor of West Berlin who rallied West Berliners behind the Western Allies during the Berlin Blockade—and pressured the Americans to keep Steinstuecken free, and out of Communist hands.
- The MP who reportedly got tipsy one night and shot out some East German border lights.
- The helicopter pilot who flew to the exclave late one night, thinking the village was under East German attack.
- The two boys playing soccer who kicked their ball out of the village, went to retrieve it—and were detained by the East German border police for illegally entering their “country.”
- The Army officer and Steinstuecken resident who started a close partnership between the villagers and the Army soldiers in Berlin—a connection that continues to this day.
- The Thanksgiving dinners the Berlin Brigade airlifted into the village, and the MP company’s tradition of inviting Steinstuecken children to their mess hall for Thanksgiving.
- The residents of Steinstuecken, who put their own safety at risk to show their allegience to West Berlin and the Americans.
- The Berliners who helped the West win one of its first victories of the Cold War—at the ballot box!
Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.
About The Author
Book DetailsAuthor: Donald Smith
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Cover Type: Hardcover