Berlin Children Get Lesson About Cold War with Candy Bars
BERLIN (AP) _ A U.S. Air Force transport plane on Saturday made a ″candy drop″ to sweeten a history lesson for about 100 German children during a re-enactment of the Berlin Airlift 40 years ago.
The airlift provided about 2 million tons of food, coal and other goods to Berliners after the Soviets in East Germany cut off overland access to west Berlin.
The airlift began on June 26, 1948, and ended Sept. 30, 1949. By the time the blockade was lifted more than 277,000 planeloads of supplies had been delivered to Berlin.
On Saturday, sacks attached to parachutes floated onto the tarmac at West Berlin’s Templehof Airport as a U.S. Air Force C-130 made a candy drop to mark the 40th anniversary of the last day of the airlift.
Candy bars and other treats were given to about 100 German children present for the re-enactment, said Christina Goodwin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. air base at Templehof.
Candy and raisins also were dropped by Allied pilots during the airlift, helping boost the morale of Berlin’s children.
About 250 airlift veterans from the United States attended Saturday’s ceremonies, according to Ms. Goodwin.
″They were really excited about being back here. It’s a terrific trip down memory lane for them,″ she said.
The Americans included former pilots, crewmembers, ground crews, radar control officials and others who had taken part in the airlift, she said.
West Berlin Mayor Walter Momper, in his address, said the ″Cold War must be forever past″ and that Berlin should become a ″region of peace and good neighborliness.″
The Soviets blocked Berlin’s western sectors in 1948 during disputes with the other occupying powers - the Americans, French and British - over Western plans for close economic ties with West Germany.