Despite being forewarned I booked a couple of nights in Berlin on a boat. While Germany has a lot to offer, Berlin is more of a party town and the night clubs are extremely popular, with a techno beat. However I was hoping to immerse myself deep into the heart of this historic area and can honestly say I did. The first thing I found in Berlin was a city rebounded from restraints and thriving on a new independent vibe. At the bus stop a young lady inquiring about my travels welcomed me to the city in English. Surprisingly many people spoke in English here and my ignorance of the German language was not a problem.
Berlin is full of war memorials and museum’s dedicated to portraying the past crimes against humanity in a vivid scene. I felt a sort of awe and heaviness in my heart as I ghosted past photographs and handwritten letters from the different perspectives of people who had lived through these hardships. It was both morbidly horrific and yet somehow understandable to see high ranking officers from the Soviet Union toasting a drink at a retreat in the first picture. Then heart-wrenching and inconceivable to see the picture beside it as dead bodies were being shoved in a mass grave. Needless to say I learned alot and had a better perspective of the Holocaust, and how relevant the crimes commited here against humanity are still to this day.
If you get the chance to visit I highly suggest adding the following to your itinerary; Check point Charlie, Topography of Terror, Memorial of the victims of the National “euthanasia” Socialist killings, Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, and of course various standing portions of the wall. Just reading the names of these iconic memorials gives me the shivers and it should. “The past is not just a shadow but a ever present storm waiting to rear it’s ugly head as soon as we let our gaurd down.” JW