Dynamic Berlin

Trip Start Nov 15, 2004
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Trip End Nov 10, 2005


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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Berlin; constantly changing, ever challenging. Dynamic Berlin.

Modern Berlin both embraces the great aspects of German history and history-makers - Marx, Einstein, Brecht, Descartes, Nietshke... and acknowledges with profound reflection some of the darkest periods of its, and the worlds, history with informative museums and (sometimes controversial) monuments.

History confronts you with both visual reminders - bullet holes, remains of the wall, concrete Soviet style buildings, and with less obvious but not forgotten reminders - the place where Hitlerīs bunker stood, now a carpark, a line on the road cutting through the city where the wall once stood.

The Berlin skyline is still dotted with cranes as parts of the city destroyed at the end of World War 2 and then misused by the SS in the East is now rapidly developing into the new Berlin, full of adventurous architecture and shopping malls. We went on a walking tour of the city (led by an Northern Irish actor!) and gained some further insight into what it must have been like to live under the Nazi Regime, and then for nearly 30 years with a wall dividing your city, each side polarised both politically and socially. The Sachenhausen īmodelī concentration camp 30 km out of Berlin provided a chilling account of the atrocities of the Nazi extermination policies and, equally disturbing, the horrific crimes committed by the Soviet controlled East.

Our visit to Berlin was not all gloom - Berlin is a hive of artistic and cultural activity. We experienced German youth culture in all its interesting and diverse forms at a free outdoor rock concert and visited the former royal palaces and gardens at Potsdam for a day. Michael also enjoyed many fat German sausages!
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