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Published: February 16th 2017
Arrival in Berlin
After negotiating the underground transit system.
"When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will be a better place." Anonymous.
After a flight across the Atlantic and quick family visit to the United Kingdom, we took another flight over the North Sea, to Berlin. It was a busy time in the bustling German Capital, and we had to bounce from hotel to hotel due to a government event, a farm exhibition, and film festival - it was really tough to find a room, we persisted, and eventually we found a gem for a steal of a deal. Separated by Concrete
We don't know for sure, but we reckon the concept of a wall was conceived at a time prior to the taming of fire, and certainly millennia before the first wheel rotated. Wall building is certainly out there in the same epoch as spear making technology and the fashioning together of other primitive hunting tools, like flint knives and scrapers. Walls were designed hundreds of thousands of years before humans had democracies and before complex languages had evolved.
The main attraction in Berlin is of course, the infamous Berlin Wall that divided the city between 1961 & 1989. On one side was the Capitalist west, on the other, the Communist east. The story of the wall
View of Berlin
From the hotel room
is a lot more complex, but in brief, many governments were being silly during this time. And so, in 1989 it was decided that tearing it down was a better idea than leaving it up.
"The overall opinion was that the Wall was not right. It would only deepen the rift in Germany further. And I said, if that happens Germany will never be unified again. Those few words cost me six months in prison. And I was treated like a dangerous criminal."
Helmut Laetsch, joiner in the state-owned company Holzindustrie Hennigsdorf in 1961.
Several parts of the wall still stand as a monument to the past. The Berlin Wall monument is a haunting place of sadness and tears. A watch tower still stands in the 'death-zone'- the area between the two parallel walls - the area where a 'shoot to kill policy' was in place to ward-off any would-be escape attempts. Many people did escape, but many people were also killed by trying to flee from the Eastern Bloc.
Along the River Spree, the Eastside Gallery is the longest section of wall still standing and it is now under preservation as an art site. Much of the art is political and provocative, with images depicting freedom and liberty... Ideals that many people were deprived of for decades.
There are many more small sections of the Berlin Wall, placed around the city, and most are covered in art and are quite eye-catching.
There are many lessons to learn from the recent history
The historical US controlled gate.
in Berlin... to rephrase this... at times, a political wall is a stupid idea!
"We never had to put up a wall to keep our people in." Graffiti on the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall)
Dave realized that his German was not as good as he thought but he managed to struggle by in most cases. He knew enough Deutsch to get into trouble, but not enough to get out of it...
We did manage, however, to successfully navigate the underground transit system (U-Bahn) and find our way around the city - we got everywhere we needed to go... including Das Krankenhaus...
D & T are travelling again...
Auf wiedersehen und bis später. Tschüss.
Dave und Theresa
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