1989… Eastern Europe is in turmoil. Following Mister Gorbachev's politics, the nations of the satellite countries demand their independence. People are gathering and their voices are claiming freedom. Will it happen now? In the last forty years, the Soviet Union and the hardliners have always intervened with the force of arms.
The Pentagon wants to be prepared if the improbable would happen. They decide to send a military observer to the East European countries. Avoiding waking up the vigilance of the KGB, they will send a civilian, a veteran pilot from World War II.
When John Carpenter, the former pilot takes the plane to West Berlin, during the flight, he remembers his young years and the events he witnessed forty years earlier…
1945… Germany is in ruin… Europe is in ruin… Hunger, misery and economic disaster… Based on human desperation, communism progresses…
The Allied Powers did not sign any agreement regarding traffic regulations between the different sectors of Germany and Berlin: American, British, French and Soviet. Due to several airplane collisions, they agreed on a simple covenant of air traffic.
John Carpenter meets Esther Kohlberg, a young Jewish girl, survivor of the death camp Treblinka. She is from Ukraine and anti-soviet. When she tries to find back her family through the Red Cross, she learns, the only survivor is a distant uncle, a nephew of her beloved grandfather, a rabbi of German origin. The uncle, however, lives in Halle, in Eastern Germany, in the Soviet occupational territory. She decides to lead him out with the help of an organization that has liaisons with the black market.
Two days after her arrival to West Berlin, the Soviets blockade the city, trapping her in Berlin. John, who pilots the first plane with vital supplies for Berlin, tries to save Esther.
1948… Following a dramatic demonstration for freedom in Berlin, Esther Kohlberg decides to stay in West Berlin and to share the everyday life of the Berliners. She finds a job as interpreter on the American airfield of Tempelhof and rents a room in the mansion of the Eberhardt family.
The airlift begins. The pilots realize a new record everyday. The Soviets await a quick victory though. They begin the harassments of the air corridors. John Carpenter flies to Berlin with coal cargo, the most vital supply for Berlin.
The American journalist, Bob Howard arrives in West Berlin and writes a story on the Candy Bomber. Lieutenant Gal Halvorsen drops candies, chewing gum and chocolates in tiny parachutes for the children in Berlin. The children of the Eberhardt family enjoy the gift from the skies.
Bob Howard adventures into East Berlin and after arrested by the East German police, lands in a jail. The smuggler of the black market trade sensitive merchandise and build up contacts to prepare the journey of Esther to Halle.
The Allied Powers agree to build a new airport in the blockaded city. They will transport all necessary building materials through air. General Clay flies to Washington to report to the Congress and to President Truman.
Esther witnesses an air crash killing the crew of two young airmen.
1949… General Tunner, the Commander of the Airlift, arrives in Wiesbaden. On a rainy day, he cannot land on Tempelhof airfield due to several accidents on the ground. He begins to reorganize the airlift. The Eberhardt family is working on the construction of the new airport.
Esther participates in the organization to prepare free elections in West Berlin. Inspite of the communist efforts to influence the result through terror and disturbances, the Berliners choose the democracy. John and Esther are present on the celebration when West Berlin opens the Free University.
John Carpenter and his crew survive a plane crash in the middle of East Germany, the Soviet occupational territory. With help of the East Germans, they find their road to West Germany.
Constance Bennett, the glamorous Hollywood film star revives the British base of Fassberg. Irvin Berlin and Bob Hope entertain the troops at Christmas 1948. In Paris, diplomats are trying to find a solution to the crisis and they organize the NATO treaty.
Stalin is disappointed. His plan did not succeed. He consents lifting the blockade, but tries to obtain some last concessions.
Esther takes the road for Halle. She meets with her uncle. When they are on the return trip, the KGB organizes a raid. In the shooting, the KGB arrests Esther and her uncle.
John tries to find connections to freeher. In the political storm, nobody is able to help him. The Soviets explode their atomic bomb in August 1949 and the Iron Curtain falls definitely on Eastern Europe. West Berlines are celebrating the victory. Amid the joyful celebration, John is alone. For him, happiness is lost.
1989… John arrives in West Berlin, when CNN transmits the first images on the tanks crashing the students on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Will the force of weapons prevail also in Eastern Europe?
The hottest point of the moment is Hungary, where 60,000 East German refugees refuse to return to their country. President George Bush visits Hungary in July. John stays there after the visit and participates on the Pan European Picnic in August. During the picnic and the following weeks, 13,000 East Germans force their way through the border into Austria.
Back in West Berlin, John is looking for an interpreter. Peter Slauter, the young military intelligence officer at the American Embassy introduces him his fiancé, Edith Fischer, a linguistic student from Israel. Together, they travel to Prague, where, in the German Embassy 4000 people are requesting free passage to West Germany. During a dinner, John discovers that Edith Fischer is the granddaughter of Esther Kohlberg. John and Edith travel with the refugees on the train toward West Germany.
While Edith organizes a party to celebrate her engagement to Peter, inviting her grandparents and the wife of John, Peter and John travel to Leipzig, where important manifestations take place.
The manifestations become daily events in Berlin, when John and Esther meet each other on the party. This day, the gates open and the Berlin Wall comes down. Esther and John understand the purpose of their lives was standing here forty years earlier. The freedom and the democracy take over the tyranny. The world enters in a new era and they are artisans of this new world.
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