This is an amazing thing to see... a must see for anyone interested in history and the Holocaust. The site is the deportation train platform, the infamous Track 17 of Grunewald Station, a former freight depot where more than 50,000 Berlin Jews were loaded on deportation trains during World War II. This is a hidden jem of a site, and it is quiet and seldom visited. Great for a photography spot and place of reflection.
We must never forget the horrors of The Second World War and its consequences. While in Berlin, you can visit the old Gestapo headquarters and go to this wall to contemplate the rise of The Third Reich and its athrocious results.
During my last trip to Berlin I decided to find a house where Maria von Maltzan lived during WWII. The present residents of the house at 11 Detmolder Strasse didn't want the commemorative plaque to be put on their building, so it was placed in front of it.
Maria von Maltzan was a fascinating person, life-long rebel and heroine, whose life was depicted in the film "Forbidden". I haven't seen the film but read her autobiography "Beat the drums and don't be afraid". Her story was even more interesting for me, as she was born in Militsch, a place just a couple kilometres from my home-town Wroclaw. (Before WWII it belonged to Germany, but then it was handed over to Poland together with other territories.)
Maria was born in 1909 in an aristocratic family as the youngest of seven children. She had a happy chidhood, although her mother didn't give her much affection. She was very attached to her father who died when she was just 12. She quickly had to learn how to be independent. She managed to achieve her goal and became a vet. During WWII she hid a number of Jewish people in her Berlin house, including her lover and future husband Hans Hirschel. Their baby died shortly after premature birth, when the power supply to the incubator was cut off. After the war it turned out that Maria and Hans weren't intended to be together. Maria was in poor health and dependent on drugs. However, she still worked as a vet. In 1975 she opened her own clinic in Kreuzberg and soon became very popular with locals. She often treated their pets free of charge. She died in Berlin in 1997.
If you do the Berlin Walks Tour, they will take you to a car park. You'll probably be thinking, now why are we here? Well, it's the site of where Hitler's Bunker was. There's no marker to show you, or anything on the map, because they don't want people flocking to it. I think it's good that they don't have anything to mark it, because such a vicious man doesn't deserve it. However, it was interesting to know that I stood right above where he shot and killed himself.
A difficult place to find. This is where the Gestapo used to be. Nobody in Berlin can tell you how to get here... they even believe it never existed.
The Treptower Park is quite bit of green space in the Southeast of Berlin. It's main feature is the huge Soviet War Memorial which was built there between 1946 and 1949.
S-Bhf: Treptower Park
All over the city, if we pay some attention it's possible to find several scars on buildings. The allied bombing over Berlin shows it's presence in several locations