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Published: September 4th 2019
The day started with a beautiful 27 degrees forecast and it didn’t disappoint.
Jumped on the bus to get to the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Bundestag.
The Holocaust Memorial is incredibly moving. I walked through it slowly as you would a labyrinth, reflecting on this story and it moved me in a way that I didn’t expect. It is a huge undulating space and was ironically originally owned by the German Reich and was destroyed in WW2. It was officially opened in 2005 as a Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe.
I then headed to the Berlin Central Station to sort a couple of things for tomorrow’s travels to Warsaw. It is massive inside with its own shopping centre. As it is both an international and local station it has both above and below stations. Very impressive.
Next was a visit to the ‘Berlin Bunker Museum’. This museum tells the story from Hitlers childhood through both wars, holocaust and the death of Hitlers’ family (murder/suicide). His six children were killed by their mother and Hitler and his wife suicided in their bunker. Those poor children. It was an amazing exhibit, informative as well as
oppressive and sad. The bunker was used as refuge for Berliners during the wars and is the original bunker from that time next to the station which only has the entrance remaining as a ruin as it was bombed ferociously in the war. I found it so suffocating and the smell was stale and airless. The holocaust rooms were visually confronting and brought me to tears. The minds of these men that led to these actions is incomprehensible. Murder is bad enough but the humiliation that accompanied it was so inhumane it’s sickening. A very sobering experience.
And finally Check Point Charlie on the way back to the hotel. This is the Checkpoint of the Berlin Wall. Very touristy spot.
Berlin has surprised me and given me delights I didn’t imagine it would. A blend of insights and sadness. I also learnt today that it has more waterways than Amsterdam. It is vibrant and alive. A great lesson in resilience. A contemporary city of peace, tolerance and acceptance of differences and diversity.
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