Berlin Day 2

Trip Start Dec 27, 2015
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Trip End Feb 04, 2016


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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Today after breakfast we headed for the Holocaust memorial in Berlin.
After starting out on foot , the rain started and we retreated to the hotel and arranged a taxi.
We arrived around 10 and went straight in (later when we left , and then later in the day we noted quite long queues - go early) , the memorial/museum is below ground under the open air memorial that has 2711 large concrete blocks . the security was like going into an airport (we have found both Jewish memorials to be well guarded in Europe). and hired the audio guides .
We spent the next 2 hours through the most magnificently presented , whilst the most depressing and haunting museums I have been in. The personals stories coupled with the unimaginable numbers made it an emotionally tolling experience . From the mother who explained how she chose her son to avoid work (and thus directly into the gas chamber) , to the description of victims being shot , with no consideration to women and children of any age , was a stark reminder of the horror that can occur in this world. I have a greater understanding of the existence and reliance of both the state of Israel and the Jewish community.
We left here and walked past the Brandenburg gates and back towards our hotel at Hackescher Market , picking up some sandwiches and Sushi for lunch (great combo) , before heading out again to join the walking tour of the "third Reich"
This walking tour dealt with the rise and fall of the third Reich , from the bridge that the Russians drove into central Berlin across as they made their way to the centre of Berlin , The Reichstag (the symbolic capital and main parliament of the Nazi's). We then walked (criss crossing the old Berlin wall) to a Bunker built by the German railways in 1943 to protect the citizens in air raids) .  As  we  past  the  local  station (Friedrichstrza) it  was  explained  that  this  was  the  place  many  of  the  children  from  Jewish Berlin were  sent  away  on  the  train  ,  The  lucky  ones  -  before  the  war  ,  to  Great  Britian  ,  if  they  could  meet  the  entry  requirements)  and  then  later  during  the  war  to  the  concentration  camps .  A  small  memorial  at  this  point  symbolizes  the  sad  options .  We then walked back to our mid stop café (where we had our hot chocolates again), before going back to the Jewish memorial , the site of Hitler's bunker (that was actually behind the car park , and was still somewhat intact as it was too large to easily remove) and then past the German air-force headquarters - that was still left intact) and then next door to the remnants of the Nazi SS headquarters , and viewing the remains of the cellars .
Leaving here we walked a short way and caught a taxi to a renowned department store KaDeWe, and went to the top floor for dinner . You would choose your dishes and the cost was by the weight of the plate .
Going home at 7.30 , felt like 11pm after a long day , So we finished with a wine and cake before relaxing in front of the TV . An amazing but emotionally trying day.
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