Berlin- A City under (re)construction

Trip Start Sep 24, 2012
Trip End Nov 02, 2012

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A walking tour with an enthusiastic, entertaining and highly knowledgeable Jessica a (Swedish ex dancer now settled and loving Berlin) set the scene for us to understand a brief history of the last 400 years and especially the Cold War and reunification of Germany and Berlin. Her passion for the city was palpable.
We covered the Bebelplatz where the Nazis publically burned over 200,000 books, the university that has produced 11 Noble Prize winners including Eistein, Hitlers bunker site, and the Berlin Wall memorial.
The tour ended at the Brandenburg gates where all important political event over the centuries have occurred e.g. Napoleon marched through the gates to not who's victory over the Germans, 1919 the Kaiser rode his horse through to demonstrate his defeat and move to exile, and Hitler delivering speeches.

We returned for a more extensive time at the European Holocaust Memorial and museum. The memorial of grey stone monoliths of varying heights; up to 3 metres, with an undulating ground surface was both and eerie and calming experience to walk through. Walking through quickly focused the mind.
The museum underneath then with provided detail for what the memorial site was depicting.
Chronological description and photos of events from the 1930's through recent times, large print displays of quotes from various sources of writings from concentration camp internees, following a number of families across Europe from pre war to what happened during and following, and voice recorded longer excerpts of internees writings from a range of labour and extermination camps. I have read, seen and heard some of this history previously, but the the whole experience weighed on the sole and spirit -to hear and think about what they suffered and that other humans could decide to inflict this, leaves me cold and despairing still. The very personal writings of feelings and what they observed was the toughest to manage. Everyone needs to hear, read and see about this history.

Checkpoint Charlie is not far away and the long series of walls panels with photos and text depicted the history of the Border zone, personal stories of attempted escapes, political stand offs (e.g Kennedy and Kruschoff at this border and Cuba) and conflicts specifically around this site.

Still looking for more spice, flavour and vegetables, and as our Thai was so good last nite we headed out for our second Thai dinner. We were not disappointed. They really know how to use the chilli. Even Michael had a sweat up.
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