Thread: Konig History

  1. #551
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Keep the stories coming Ralph, and we are looking forward to more of the trip to Grein, but I need to ask this question. Dieter took me to a place in 1975 that had orchestra music and a big dance floor in front of the stage. Behind the stage were water fountains spouting up, weaving back and forth , and sometimes jumping up and down and it was all co-ordinated with different colored lighting. Besides the phones with numbers at each table, there were pneumatic tubes and pencils and papers. You could write notes and send them to a table as well as call them up. That was in West Berlin. I went with Dieter to a club in East Berlin in 1976 with Walt Blankenstein to meet Bernie Danisch, but what you posted sounds to me like the club in West Berlin. Very old, and dating back to the 1920's.



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    Hi Wane, I seen the one in West Berlin and was told about it, but the one Ralph was speaking of is in East Berlin. We went over to that side to have dinner and meet with the East Berlin drivers. Bernie was there and also Bern Bechausen, the man that drove the Zimple motors to a few championships with. That motor gave Deiter ulcers in the A class. Fun time. Also that was when Deiter showed me how to smuggle money across the border. If you remember you had to buy East German marks and exchange rate was 1 for 1. They would do the same with a US Dollar as well. A East German mark would trade in the West at 12 to 1 West marks and West marks at the time was over 3 to 1 dollar. The East would only let you have maybe a Hundred East Marks at a 24 hour visit. I’ll tell you, that stuff scared the Sh out of me as they were a serious up tite bunch of folks. Found that out the hard way on first trip when driving through a check point coming West, had guns pointed at us and threats because I drove by a guard shack big enough for one person approaching the main check point. I still have the ticket they gave me. Cost me 20 bucks to get out of that one.
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  3. #553
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    We went to a very nice restaurant in East Berlin Steve. Each item on the menu was around 90 East marks, and I worried about the bill. But we paid with West marks and it was only about 20 marks total for the whole bunch. I was worried too because Walt Blankenstein was smuggling in plans of one of John Yale's hydros and a calculator to convert from inches in to millimeters. Dieter had me taking in a box of chocolates and if they asked what I was doing with them, I was to tell the guards I was planning to eat the whole box while visiting East Berlin. Walt and I had to go and come back out through Checkpoint Charlie, while Dieter had to come and go through a different crossing because he was a German living in West Berlin. I went to East Berlin the next day by myself to visit someone I had met the night before. I borrowed Flo's little American car. It was a Ford, but I can't remember the model, although it was a compact. And it had a sticky throttle. When stopped you had to push harder and harder on the accelerator for it to rev up, then sometimes it would jump and go RRRRRRRrrrrrrrr very loud. Walt and I walked through the checkpoint the day before and Dieter picked us up on the other side. This time I was driving out. There were tank traps you had to weave around to prevent anyone from crashing through the barriers. I pulled up, and like you say Steve, the guards leveled machine guns at me while they took my passport to run it through, and they also popped the trunk and had a mirror on wheels they ran underneath the car. When I got my passport back and they raised the pole to let me pass through I was praying hard that I could get Flo's car moving without the throttle jumping and revving the motor up high. My ticket was a lot less than yours Steve and I still have mine too. It was 8 DM for driving the wrong way on one way street. It was only about a 20 meter jog to get across to the road offset on the other side. I would have to circle two blocks to come back around to do it correctly, but I did not see any Politzei cars around. Soon as I crossed the intersection a whistle blew. There was a Politizie on the corner on foot. He asked for my international drivers license, which I did not have one, so I gave him my Texas license. Most everybody around the world knows about Texas, especially Germans who love John Wayne and westerns, so it worked. He gave me the ticket and I paid him on the spot. The border guards are very intimidating. They hold your passport up so the can look at it, then at your face, look at the passport again, then your face again, back and forth for a few minutes to see if they can make you sweat or get nervous. Never saying a word, just a hard grimace on their face and stare with cold mean eyes into yours. I was nervous, but I figured it was better to stare back than try to look away or down because I figured that would look suspicious. Very interesting times. Debbie and I went over to East Berlin on a tour bus during our "honigmonde" and it was much easier. Tour bus tourists don't get the scrutiny like you and I did. I'm glad now that I did it because you get a true sense of what it must be like for the people to live in a police state.



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    Wayne, It was definitely east Berlin, and I remember that Dieter had to go through a different checkpoint. On that same trip, Dieter also took us to a spa, where they had pools like a small swimming pool. There was a hot, or I should say warm pool and a cold pool, a sauna, and a steam room. Men and women were all using them together, and all were naked.

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    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    When we were there racing the tunnel boats in the 6 hour, Alan Yaw from Abilene Marine, Tommy Posey, and a few others including Ted May went to East Berlin to visit. Yes, they made us exchange our West German marks to East German & were told we had to return with no money . So we drank our lunch. Needless to say all were feeling little pain. The real story was with my name being Schubert, my passport went through a slot in the wall. I was finally cleared. Now the bigger issue was Ted Amat. Not only did his passport go behind the wall, so did he for quite some time. He came out with a big grin as only Ted would.
    the other thing that I remembered was all the pock marks on the concrete surfaces from bullets on the buildings from WWII.

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    Careful Ralph, this is a kid friendly site, but yes we had a time over there for sure, my best time was at factory as I was like a kid in a candy store with the keys to the place. After hours, when we hooked up with Krage, it got interesting to say the least. These are good beer stories.

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    Here's a beer story. Peter Preis was the son of our hostess Jenny Scwhartz-Nitka. She was Russian from Ukraine. She bought the old Netherlands Embassy in West Berlin and was remodeling when David and Faye Westbrook and myself stayed there in 1976. When Debbie and I got there on our honeymoon in 1977 all the remodel had been done and it was a fantastic place. Peter and his girlfriend then, Jenny, wanted to take us out on the town so we went to the main drag Kurferstendamm which was not far from the house in the Grunewald district of West Berlin. I don't you if any of you guys went to U-Kudamm, but it is below Kurfurstendamm and may have been shelters or something the military used during WWII. Don't remember exactly how we went underground, but before that we started at a cafe on Kudamm (short for the main street) where we had a few beers, then we moved to a restaurant where we had a cocktail or two, then wine with the meal. After all that Peter and Jenny got us to the place where we went underground. Forgot to mention that Peter knew everyone at the café and at the restaurant where the waiter brought us complimentary champagne. Back down underground. There was a large area if I remember right when we first entered. Tables, chairs and a bar. Don't remember if there was dancing or not. Off to the left was a wide hallway that led further down, and on each side were stalls about twenty or so feet wide and twenty five or so deep. The fronts were open to the hallway and there were stalls on both sides of the hall going way back. I don't think we made it to the end. When we entered the hallway we went in the first stall on the left and Peter greeted his friend. We four got complimentary schnapps and a beer. Each of these stalls specialized in a special schnapps and that's what we got. I can only remember the first specialty. It was vodka with buffalo grass in it. It was served ice cold in shot glasses. Peter had too many friends there. We zig zagged down that hall from one shop to the next never paying for anything. Peter introduced Debbie and I to all the shop owners as his friends from Texas.

    We were all four flying to Hamburg the next day because Peter wanted to introduce us to his Italian friend who moved to Hamburg to open up an Italian restaurant there. Luckily the flight was early afternoon so Debbie and I recovered a little bit before we got to Tegel Airport. That was all turned around though shortly after wheels cleared the ground. Climbing fast and high the plane suddenly banked very hard to the left, then just as suddenly back to he right, then once more left then settled down somewhat to turn toward Hamburg. Those were the days when Brigatto Rossi was "kneecapping" executives and politicians in Italy and the Baader-Meinhof gang said they were going to shoot airliners down in Germany. Our heads were about to bust and my stomach didn't really start to settle down until the taxi ride from the airport to the restaurant. I had taken a bunch of deep breaths and so far so good. We got to the restaurant and Peter's friend met us in the back. He was taking us through the kitchen when I got a whiff of all that spicy Italian cuisine and I had to run back out the door. I made it to the flowerbed where I added a late breakfast to the soil.



  8. #558
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    That’s a good story Wayne, I too with Ralph and some drivers and mechanics from the boat club MRC went to a bar after boat club meeting. Drinks flowed and good times and hours slipped away. I was to go with Deiter to Herkle the makers of crank parts and internals for Konig. They were at the time the high tech operation in Germany. Deiter had told me at club meeting to be at factory by a certain time. I was late and Deiter was not happy with me. He said when I’m late , he was late and this is rude. He would not let me go at that time, ( I went at a later visit) and said for my punishment to make him rude, I was to stay at factory and run motors in Dino room. I thought ok no problem. Well, a cart with several motors was wheeled into Dino room and I was too escorted in the room and told what to do. As the Dino room door closed, I here a bolt drop into the door. I could not get out. I was told to run motors. I got a couple breaks for rest room, and lunch, but rest of time was running motors. There was someone counting the runs obviously because as I got close the the last on cart,the door would open and another cart with motors was brought in and motors I had done was taken out. About three in the afternoon the door came open and Deiter said, do you like being in my cooler for your problems you cause me? After that day, I was and still am not late but on time, and if I run a little behind, where ever I’m expected, they get a call. Lesson learned. I thank my friend for the many lessons that I learned there, and they were not all about motors. Maybe I should tell of the water ski event that Ralph eluded to. Fu stuff there too.

  9. #559
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    Yes! (and I want you to hear that response as Dieter would say it Steve).



  10. #560
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    Steve, And the bet you made with Dieter at dinner after water skiing. I think that was the same trip for Dieter.

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