Helmstedt is a small city in the north of Germany, close to the border with Lower Saxony. It's a quiet place, with a population of just over 30,000, and is best known for its association with the Helmstedt-Marienburg checkpoint, which was used by the East German government to control the flow of people and goods between East and West Germany. The checkpoint is now closed, but the city still retains a strong East German feel, with many of the old buildings and street names dating back to the time of the GDR. It's a great place to explore the history of East Germany, and there are also some good museums and parks. The city is also home to the Volkswagen factory, which is open for tours.