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Berlin with Lily: Tons of History by Ann Treacy
March 8, 2014, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Berlin

Lily and I spent a few days in Berlin. She decided it would be a good idea and somehow talked me into it. I had never been to Germany so I must admit it wasn’t the toughest sell. Mostly what we did on our brief German vacation was walk. We started with the free walking tour of Berlin. We started near the Brandenburg Gate – the former city gate. It was rebuilt in the late 18th century but of course a huge part of the significance is the no man’s land aspect of it. It stood along side the Berlin Wall. We also visited the wall – which is sort of amazing to visit. It’s incredible to think that the wall was built over night and you were stuck wherever you happened to be that night. It was an effort to keep too many people from leaving the area. What a strange solution.

We heard stories of escape – like the people who built a zip line to get to the other side. There are parts of the Wall that stand I suspect mostly as they were back in the day. They are so gloomy and heart breaking. Then there are parts that have been revived with murals – although more on that later.

We saw other highlights such as Check Point Charlie and the parking lot above where Hitler killed himself. They didn’t want to do anything to commemorate the spot because they didn’t want anyone to use it as a reason/opportunity to celebrate Hitler. Mostly you see the cars and the tours gong through. Throughout the tour are telling stories about book burnings, grand art and a huge sense of competition.

Added: My mom asked a good question about the blocks that Lily is sitting on below. It is from the Jewish Memorial, which is spectacular! The blocks are the same square dimension but different heights – and if this makes sense, the height doesn’t change, the depth does. I’m not very easily moved but I have to say the memorial is very touching and thoughtful.

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