Point Alpha

Point Alpha, Geisa

Point Alpha
4.5
About
The Memorial Point Alpha used to be an important observation post in the period of the cold war. Today the historical site and its components are authentic credentials that serve to inform the visitors about the former border between east and west. In addition to the remains, a newly renovated museum covers the historical context and depicts the impacts the repressive system of the GDR had on the population close to the life-threatening border.
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4.5
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TrophyCollector
Monaco-Ville, Monaco630 contributions
Perfect place to understand the East West division of Germany
May 2021
Perfect place to understand the East West division of Germany in the last century. Museum itself was closed, due to the Covid 1984 regime, however the outside area along the former border fence, the watchtower, and in particular the heavy military equipment was interesting to watch. Despite the remote location, this place is highly recommended for history researchers.
Written 17 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Magala T
Kampala, Uganda53 contributions
Point Alpha
Jul 2019 • Family
Memorial and very intriguing place to visit, this is where the barrier was between East and West Germany,
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Asta365
Kent, TX512 contributions
Excellent Orientation to the Cold War on the Inter-German Border
May 2019 • Friends
Point Alpha is the entire museum and preserved outdoor complex which builds upon what was a U.S. Army armored cavalry camp near the Fulda Gap which was the expected primary avenue of attack of the Russians into West Germany during the Cold War. Fulda is NNE of Frankfurt.

The main museum thoroughly explains the structure of the inter-German border during the Cold War. This isn’t just facts and figures and weapons and construction techniques. There is a very sensitive examination of what the Cold War was like for people who lived in this area. Significantly, there is also an examination of the perversely positive ecological impacts of an absence of economic development along the border.

Sections of the East German defensive line are preserved, but on closer examination, these works were more likely for keeping East Germans from escaping to the West.

The actual camp where US Army soldiers lived while on border duty is well-preserved. Within the camp there are two barracks buildings which have been turned into two distinct, though small museums. One focuses on the trooper’s equipment and daily lives. The other addresses bigger issues of international relations, the impact of American forces in Germany, and the end of the Cold War. The museum also examines the little known Army Constabulary troops who served a critical post-WWII role in maintaining law and order in the hectic period after the war ended.

The actual marking of the border was a very specific point of interest and instruction. At several points you can see in sequence: The original inter-lander marker stone (Kingdom of Prussia/Hesse?), then the new PVC marker (the “matchstick”), then the 15 meters of empty space outside the fence. Additionally, the curators do a really good job of showing the evolution of the border fencing from 1945 to 1985/9 as you walk the kilometer from the main museum to Camp Alpha.

I highly recommend a visit if you want to really dig into a unique historical period and the lives of those who were impacted by it!
Written 23 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris A
9 contributions
Interesting Cold War Museum near the Fulda Gap
Aug 2018 • Family
Visited here twice, once last year with my two lads then this year with the whole family. My children are half German so it is part of their history. Having seen many documentaries on the "Iron Curtain" it was interesting to actually be there. There are effectively two museums, one the old US Army Base which shows how the American soldiers lived. For those interested in military hardware there is a small collection of military vehicles & helicopters. Also covered is the work of the German border guards.
You can climb the US watch tower and look over a section of the fence to an East German tower.
Leaving the base you can walk along the course of the old border to the other museum which houses the history of the wall with details of it's layout and construction, weaponry used to keep the East Germans in East Germany, tales of escape over the wall and the tragic loss of those who didn't make it.
It was more poignant for me having grown up in the 70's & 80's in a British Army town in England. Many of my school friends were born in Germany, a bit further north in the British sector where their fathers were serving in the BOAR. Most days you could hear the tanks going out to train on the ranges. Now I was visiting the border where it was all meant to happen for real. The Fulda Gap nearby was one of the points where the massed Soviet tank formations were expected to attack in the event of WWIII. Point Alpha also brought it home to me how the Germans must have felt having their country divided then reunited.
I expected Point Alpha to be just another museum but it was a bit more than that.
Written 6 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

michael d
Charlotte, NC200 contributions
great piece of history
Aug 2017 • Family
My dad was stationed in the old Army base in Fulda, with the 11th ACR. I lived there for a number of years as a child. My family just recently came back from vacation in Germany, and I took them to see Point Alpha. Fulda was very important back during the Cold War.
There were quite a number of visitors when we arrived. Glad to see that. Even a couple of tour groups. There is a good amount to see, and learn. There is an entry fee to get in, but it's not much. 6 or 8 Euros for the adults, if I remember correctly.
Written 25 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

hidey-holer
Texas39 contributions
Excellent Cold War museum off the beaten path
Jun 2017 • Family
Great indoor and outdoor museum/memorial that is a little tricky to get to (signage is confusing, and we do speak German). A modern and thorough museum at one end, in English and German; and a half-mile walk along a reconstructed "border" leads to a memorial and also a preserved U.S. watchpost called "Observation Post Alpha." Fascinating and informative site of the not-too-distant past.
Written 13 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jenn K
Aurora, IL87 contributions
Relaxing day of history
Jun 2017 • Friends
Our group of teachers came to Point Alpha to speak with an education expert, but got so much more than a lecture! The museum is very well done and includes many different types of artifacts with explanations in multiple languages. There is a piece of original road that the soldiers used as a pathway and larger items (gates, posts) as well as photographs and maps inside, but the real attraction is outside. You can follow the path about 1/4 mile to see the old fences up close and even climb the watch tower. There is a small, but delicious restaurant in the former American compound (look for our flag--it's easy to spot in the middle of Germany!) and an area with tanks and helicopters that you can see up close. We had a chance to meet with a contemporary witness, who was born in East Germany and grew up there and it was fantastic to hear her perspective. Check online before going to see if there is a speaker available when you will be visiting.
Overall, it was a great experience and one where you could really take your time to experience the indoor exhibits and the outdoor paths.
One note--with all the negativity associated with the Cold War, it was interesting to go up to the second floor of the museum to see an area that's dedicated to one big positive: the flora and fauna that thrived because of little human interaction. They have a display with several animals that are native to the area and a Junior Ranger book (like we have for our National Parks in the the USA) for kids to find animals and learn about nature in the area.
Written 12 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MissNancy50
Cocoa, FL37 contributions
A hidden gem
Jun 2017 • Couples
We went back to Germany to visit places where we were stationed in the 80's and 90's. When we were at Bad Hersfeld I just happened to check Trip Advisor to see what might be nearby. I found Check Point Alpha and was so glad I did. My husband served with the 11th ACR guarding this border, so going here was very nostalgic for both of us.

The exhibits are very well done and historically accurate. The border fence and guard towers are chilling.
When we were thereon a weekday morning there were busloads of German high schoolers and also older folks visiting.
I highly recommend this museum even if it may be a bit out of your way.
Written 12 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lindsey K
Pershore, UK2 contributions
Very interesting
Jun 2017
Visited around 16 years ago & returned again this week with 3 children aged 14,11 & 6. They all really enjoyed this fascinating day out. Seeing history which is so relatively recent & being able to talk about it and talking to locals who have grown up with the fence, really makes history come alive.
Written 4 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

princetonarea
Princeton Junction, NJ188 contributions
This was the "Fulda Gap" during the Cold War and a nice complement to Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie
May 2017 • Friends
A German friend living not far from here in Thuringia brought me here -- and I think I also was here more than 30 years ago thanks to the U.S. Army wanting to show what we were doing in Germany. This time I got to see it from the other side. Tours can be arranged in advance (in German and English) but the exhibit is bilingual if you don't. We drifted in and out of a German-language tour being given by a former West German soldier to a tour group from Bavaria. I learned East Germans were told to shoot those fleeing at the knees or lower -- that kept bullets from straying into West Germany, where it would have caused an incident. And on the West German side, there was a red line past which tanks couldn't go -- for the same reason. The East Germans troops in the watchtowers weren't allowed to go in the area between the two sets of walls built by their government -- that was the job of another (presumably even more indoctrinated) unit.
Written 30 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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