Yes, today I started at the Brandenburg Gate. (Know what I learned? My name, literally translated into German means Gate Tailor. Tor evidently means Gate and I’ve always known that Schneider means Tailor!). Anyway, the Gate was very exciting to see. I had Ronnie in my head all day! Then I walked to the Reichstag, and it was cool to be there today. Today was the anniversary of the reunification of Germany and on this date in 1990 it was celebrated in front of the Reichstag. Pretty cool.
I then took a jaunt through the Tiergarten, which was having a large carnival/festival (for the holiday, I presume). It was interesting to see it and watch people, but I went straight through to walk to the Victory Column. Though, to be honest, not really sure what military victories the Germans have to be proud of… guess it’s an old column.
I then walked back through, this time through the actual park, to the Holocaust Memorial. It is 2711 concrete blocks of different sizes (heights) and the ground is hilly and slopy. Underground is the museum part and it was very interesting. First, it is called “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.”. I was kind of surprised that it was named that instead of just “Holocaust Memorial.” But then I remembered that I was in Germany and I think that is a perfect name. Because that is what happened. They were murdered. Second, the museum part tells stories of certain people or families from Europe who were affected by the Holocaust. In one dark room, a person’s name will be projected onto all four walls and their story will be told (a brief story). It said that if all the victims of the Holocaust were to have their names and brief story told about them it would take six years, seven months, and 27 days. Just think about that for a minute.
After that I went to Potsdamer Plata, one of the most famous squares in pre-war Europe. It was pretty well demolished in the war, but has been renovated. There are shops, restaurants, and I think a big mall there (Sony Center), but it being a holiday, it was closed. I kept walking and ended at the Topography of Terror, which is a museum at the location of the Headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS. It is an indoor-outdoor museum. It also has a portion of the Berlin Wall there that is behind a fence (weird) so that no one can touch it. It stands as it did shortly after the fall. There was a section on Poland (70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising this year) and in this section stood remnant of the original building. Most of the building was demolished, first by the Russians immediately after the war and then the rest in 1956 (or thereabouts). Inside was so much information on the Third Reich (and my feet were oh-so-tired), but I read a lot. Not everything, but I think it would have been impossible to read everything!
I went back to the carnival to have something for dinner (and an ice cream treat) before heading back to the hostel. Spent the evening hanging with the roommates… we’re a wild bunch… in pj’s by about 7pm on a Friday!