There is a fabulous film made in 1973, an old East German film which has become a bit of a Berlin cult. It is called Die Legende von Paul und Paula. I absolutely love it and recommend anyone to see it! But the reason I mention it is because you may come across, in graffiti or otherwise, the Paulundpaulaherzen, large hearts decorated to the memory of Paulundpaula. there is even a Paulundpaula Ufer, a road named after the film! I so want to live there!
Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin
Klaus Wowereit is the mayor of Berlin. As far as I know he was the first "officially gay" mayor of Germany - and he definitely fits perfectly to Berlin because he is cool! (Well, I don't know many mayors with a fancy Flash Website that is available also in Turkish! ;)
He came out as gay with the sentence 'Ich bin schwul - und das ist auch gut so' (I am gay and that is good so) before he was elected and it became a rather popular statement.
60th anniversary of Berlin Airlift, June 27, 2008
.. American Veterans return to Germany for Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift on June 27, 2008.
Dub Southers recalled the grueling hours he worked at Celle Air Base at the start of the Berlin Airlift..as a flight engineer and crew chief..
He remembered well the coal being shipped in from local coal fields, the 196 missions he flew over Berlin and being a 20-year-old Air Force Staff Sergeant keeping the C-54 Skymaster aircraft flying.
Air bases in Rhein-Main, Wiesbaden, Celle and Fassberg served as the supply depot for food, coal and other items to be delivered, as well as home and repair shop for the C-47s and C-54s that flew daily roundtrips into West Berlin.
..It wasn't until 1998 that he started really thinking about the importance of the airlift mission, which lasted from June 1948 to May 1949 and provided vital resources to the German city (of Berlin) cut in half by Soviet rule..
For the 60th anniversary of Berlin Airlift they will re-enact the first flight of the airlift, Dub Southers said, and visit the memorial at Rhein-Main Air Base, get on a C-47 and fly the corridor from Frankfurt to Templehof Air Base in Berlin, where there will be another memorial service..
"When I first got over there (Celle Air Base), we were working around the clock, 12 hrs on, 12 off, seven days a week. They eventually hired local German aircraft mechanics who worked alongside us. I remember them being very good, as they were older and more experienced .."
He said by observing the anniversary and remembering the 31 Americans who died in aircraft accidents during the mission, Americans learn about the importance of the Berlin Airlift.
"At this point, I'm very proud of being a part of it," he said. "I know that we affected history big-time. We call it the first victory of the Cold War. Because of the Berlin Airlift, Europe is free. All of Europe would have ended up communist if we were run out."
He said during his first return to Germany, Germans actually approached him with appreciation. "We were wearing caps that identified us as Berlin Airlift Veterans, and I don't know how many times we were stopped and thanked for what we did," he said. He said he does not feel like a hero.. "The real heroes were the German people in Berlin who suffered the things they put up with in the Eastern Zone," he said. "People just disappeared under the communist rule, because they were speaking out for freedom. We provided what they needed to get by. They are the ones who held out and persevered."
-taken & quoted from a forward
The Europa Centre was completed in 1965, part of it consists of a 22 story tower block, but the place to head for is the 90,000 square metre shopping complex. Outside the main entrance is a popular meeting place which is called the water ball and is a hemispherical granite fountain. Inside the Europa Centre is a 13 metre green liquid clock spread over 3 floors called The Clock of Flowing Time. It has 12 larger balls, which represent each hour and 30 smaller balls which represent every 2 minutes. It all re-starts at 1am & 1pm when the liquid empties except for 1 ball. Another feature in the centre is the Lotus Fountain which is located outside the Tiffany Café. 2 of the more unusual stores are a games workshop with a large window display and a shop selling samuri swords and knives.
Rail Travel in Germany
I am planning to do a gap year from September 2008, after I finish school. My plan is to travel around Europe and I have heard that rail travel is rather good. Especially in germany train germany train transportation seems to be very popular and on top of that it is cheap! I have heard that you can travel any time you like and therefore can move independently from city to city and across various countries.
If anyone has had a similar experience and would like to share ideas, please do so. I am still in the process of gathering ideas and tips and would be grateful for anything!