Admiring its architecture.
Fondest memory: Visiting Treptower Park used to be a must for all Soviet citizens - this is what the hosts told us.
We were taken to the memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers and officers who had fallen during the battles in and around Berlin in 1945.
It was very impressive to see all those monuments and tombs of the fallen soldiers and officers.
I haven't been there since, but I hope the memorial looks nice now.
Favorite thing: You can find many statues that are bullet riddled and practically destroyed all over Berlin. The picture I posted is of a man with no head right outside Martin Gropius Bau which is down the street from the Topography of Terror in the area of Checkpoint Charlie.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the community of Coelln grew up on an island in the Spree. It is mentioned for the first time in a document dated 1237.
Berlin started on the right bank, later. In 1307, Coelln and Berlin merged into one city. In 1451, the castle of Coelln ad der Spree became the permanent residence of the Elector. In 1710, there were 56,000 inhabitants including 6,000 Huguenots (Protestant refugees from France), 500 Swiss and 500 from the Palatinate, and the city covered 182 acres. The Prussian "Soldier King," Frederick William I made Berlin the capitol of Prussia and his son Frederick the Great continued to make Berlin a center of culture in Europe.
Fondest memory: Napoleon occupied Berlin in 1806, but the revolution of 1848 was short-lived and William I became emperor of the Second German Reich in 1871, with Berlin as its capital. All this was cut short by the First World War. After the war, Berlin became the capital of Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic, in the 1920s.
Berlin remained the capital of Germany during the Nazi era. Hitler even envisioned the city as 'Germania', the capital of a global empire. Berliners suffered under Nazi rule, especially the persecuted left-wing movements and the vast Jewish community. More than 60,000 Berlin Jews, nearly half of the city's population, died in the Holocaust. Thousands more fled the country.
By the end of World War II, Old Berlin had been reduced to a pile of rubble. Anything from before the war has probably been reconstructed. The Potsdam Agreement divided the city into four sectors, each of which was ruled by one of the Allies—the USA, USSR, Britain and France. The German Democratic Republic proclaimed East Berlin as its capital. And this was the way it remained when I visitd in 1976
Big and small marks of WWII are all over Berlin. Memorials about the Wall, about the jewish persecution, memorials about all death on WWII... You cannot forget it.
Fondest memory: The contrast between the "old" and the new Berlin.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was one of the "non-conforming" pastors imprisoned for refusing to "toe the line" of German religious policy in the Nazi era. He was also one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, a pioneer of "social-based" theology and an important influence upon Martin Luther King Jr., among others.
Bonhoeffer was implicated in the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, and in 1945 he was executed at Buchenwald. After the war, Bonhoeffer's body - and those of other conspirators - was re-interred in central Berlin's Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery.
"Gedenkstätte Grosse Hamburger Strasse." This is a quiet wooded park on the site of what had been a major cemetery for Berlin's Jewish community. The sculptural memorial is dedicated to the 55,000 Jews deported to concentration camps from this site in 1943. Designed by Will Lammert (1892-1957).
Before the Nazi Era, Berlin had a famously large and flourishing Jewish community. The oldest Jewish cemetery in Berlin was on this street, and several other significant institutions were nearby: the "New" Synagogue, several schools, a home for the elderly. During the years of WWII, the cemetery was entirely desecrated, and the old-people's home served as the center for detaining and deporting the remaining Jews of the city.
Well, I didn't really know where to add this, so I'll write it here. A while ago I've read that the Holocuast Memorial is expected to be opened in spring of 2005.
The memorial will feature 2752 concrete tablets spread out over a 19.000 square meter space. It is scheduled to open May 8, 2005 - the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war.
Oh yep, the architect is Peter Eisenman.
see bookshelves containing no books!!!
You can look thgrough at the centre of the square - a glass panel through which can be seen a room lined with empty, white bookshelves.
It was 10th May 1933 Bucherverbrennung (book burning), a propaganda event orchestrated by Hitler. The Nazis held their first official book burning there, incinerating works of authors who were on the anti-Nazi "index".
The National Library is where undesirable books were thrown out to be burned.
On the plaque bears the words of the poet Heinrich Heine from 1820 (who attended Humboldt University overlooking the square), "where books are burned, in the end people will burn".
from 1960 till 1990 this building had the above inscription.
After the GDR era, they changed the words (cause the Westerners found it too
They also put in this statue of Kaethe Kollwitz, an artist who lived till 1945
and always expressed political, pacifistic views in her work.
The original of this statue is only a few centimeters high - many people say
that with this new enlargement it lost it's effect, and is doing the artist
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