Driving through the Berlin Wall
When the Berlin Wall was built it became really hard to escape to West Berlin. But Hans Meixner was persistent and very much in love. He drove his sports car with his fiancee and mother in law through the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie.
In the movie ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ two young people meet at a wedding and fall in love. It could have been the script for Hans Meixner and the love of his live Margit. Hans Meixner was a young Austrian lad who studied in West Berlin. Because he was from Austria, it was pretty easy to travel to East Berlin and he made a lot of friends there too. When friends of him married in East Berlin, Meixner went to the party.
Cupid doing his work at an East Berlin wedding
That’s when he met Margit, a young woman who worked for the East Berlin city government. And bam, cupid did his work. They fell in love instantly. But there was no happily ever after since Margit was not allowed to live with her love in West Berlin. The GDR was against their marriage and her moving to the Western part of Berlin.
Desperate in the DDR
In the beginning it was not really a problem. Hans Meixner was able to visit Margit as often as possible. But she was never able to visit him at his place in West Berlin. They became more and more in love and more and more desperate. Hans Meixner thought about every possible way to get Margit to the other side of Berlin, but didn’t know how. Until he returned from one of his trips to Margit and saw a young woman with a sports car at Checkpoint Charlie. Her car was so low to the ground that when she accidentally hit the gas instead of the break, the car nearly slipped under the barrier of the checkpoint.
The West Berlin student knew how to get his love to the other side of town. The next time he visited Margit, he measured the exact hight of the barrier. With those measurements in his pocket, he rented the lowest possible car he could find: a Austin Healey Sprite. He rented the car for a month and tested if the height was correct by passing Checkpoint Charlie. It fit. The car could pass right beneath the barrier pole of the Checkpoint.
Driving through the Berlin Wall barriers
After that Meixner practised how to slalom with speed to avoid being shot at. He squeezed Margit and his mother in law behind the seats, removed the windscreen and drove of to Checkpoint Charlie. He sped up to the barrier pole, did his slaloms, hit the gas, kept the steering wheel steady and ducked. The car roared and passed under the barrier pole with just a few inches clearance.
The three of them were never fired at. It all went so quick the guards had not had time to use their guns. Hans Meixner, Margit and his mother in law made it to West Berlin and lived happily ever after. But after them other love stories didn’t have a happy end by driving through through the Berlin Wall. The GDR government placed double metal barriers at the Checkpoints, so no one could drive under them. Ever.