Sorge open-air border museum

  - darkometer rating:  5 -
Another border museum on the former line of division between Germany East (GDR) and West (FRG) during the era of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War.
It is mainly an open-air museum of sorts, but an indoor exhibition space in the old station building in Sorge has been added to add a bit more conventional commodification.
The preserved original stretch of the former GDR border fortifications is quite impressive as it is, though. Here, as usual in thinly populated parts of the border regions, the main outer fortification was a metal fence. Border poles marked the actual line between West and East – one of these can be seen at Sorge too.
Further inland (inside the then GDR, that is) a second set of fences with signalling wires formed the other, inner boundary of the border strip. Part of which can also be seen here, including one of the gates in the fence, for use by the border guards only back then, now you can simply stroll through (it's left open).  
Also partly in place is one of the "Hundelaufanlagen" ('dog-run installations') – cf. Point Alpha. At Sorge, a fairly authentic semi-preserved specimen of these sinister border security installations can still be seen – albeit minus any dogs, of course.  Another authentic relic is one of those typical watchtowers. Text panels (in German only) provide some minimal information. Other than that there's simply the patrol track winding its way through the landscape.
What sets the border "museum" at Sorge apart from other such places is precisely its non-museum-ness. The border relics look more like they've been simply forgotten and left alone since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. This gives the place a kind of special aura. Everything here is authentic. And you don't get the same crowds as in e.g. Point Alpha, let alone in Berlin.
The outdoor parts are freely accessible at all times (during daylight hours makes sense, naturally). The small museum has the following opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission free, but a donation is welcome. 
Location: near Braunlage in the hilly area of the Harz, north of Nordhausen, central Germany. The village of Sorge, where the former border strip begins, is on the B242/B4 road between Braunlage and Tanne.  

Google maps locator:[51.695,10.686]

©, Peter Hohenhaus 2010-2019

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