A chapter right off a world history textbook
27.06.2017 - 30.06.2017 2 °C
There are many reminders small and large that continue to stand all across Berlin, serving as a silent yet voluble reminder of a once-divided country and city. But Berlin I realised lives the term "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" that literally translates to the "struggle to overcome the [negatives of the] past".
All roads in Berlin literally lead to the Brandenburg Gate. This historic entrance built to reflect the German nations former glories has lot of space around it so the crowds are well spread.
A block away from the Brandenburg Gate is the HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL.
This abstract monument honestly touches a raw nerve with anyone who has any understanding of Germany's "questionable" role in one of the darkest chapters of world history. A walk between the 2711 concrete blocks of varying heights, physically provoked anxiety in me, conveying some of the terror of what happened in Germany in the 1930's and 40's. This memorial is not particularly flashy, but maybe that is the precise point. Each visitor is able to wander through the memorial with their own thoughts and seek an independent interpretation, while remembering how the Holocaust changed our world forever.
SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL
Alexanderplatz is a big square in the middle of Berlin with lots of stores, restaurants, cafes. I found to be a really good spot to hang out with friends and grab some lunch. Discovered to my glee that the place has such a young-hip-cool-and-animated vibe and is flanked by modernistic monuments like the TV tower, the World Clock and the Fountain of Friendship. Plus there were a ton of street artists showcasing their art all through the square.
FOUNTAIN OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLES
EAST SIDE GALLERY :
Seeing the wall in its full scale was an incredible experience and the highlight of my trip to Berlin. There is a fairly long portion of the wall still intact, decorated with art and graffiti.
Its strange that when I first arrived in Berlin, I hadn’t pay much thought as to the scale of it. Berlin is massive and extremely developed that is quite incredible when you consider that this city was until 25 years ago separated and was the setting for some of the most world changing events from the last century. Standing in front of a portion of the wall that formed the separation between East and West Germany was such a moving experience especially, when you reflect back about the past 80 years of history in this city which has found such a large amount of space in our history texbooks and makes you think of all the people who were affected.
But Berlin has a few lessons to teach the world and I believe especially in the present day, we could all do with some lessons in Vergangenheitsbewältigung.
Until next time,