History - Cold War, Berlin
This is the oldest airport in Berlin. It's just a regional one nowadays though because it's in the middle of the city and rather old.
The architecture of the place is terrible (nazi-style) but outside there is a memorial of the 'Luftbruecke' ("air bridge"). During this 11 month blockage of Berlin by the Sovjets in 1948/49 the people of Berlin were provided with food from the air by the allies. You can see two of those planes (which are called 'Rosinenbomber' here - which means raisin bomber) outside the airport building.
All hail the Trabant! Perhaps the world's worst car, the Trabant was East Germany's claim to automotive fame. You can't beat that two-cylinder lawnmower-type engine! And the plastic exterior! Total crap, these cars...
The Friedrichstrasse railway station was the only station with connections from the West to the East. As a result, Westerners who came over to visit the East had to leave their friends and families at the gate while they waited to clear customs. The customs area thus received the name Tränenpalast, "the Palace of Tears" for all the families that were split.
Remember that before the Wall came up, there was relative freedom of movement between East and West. The Wall appeared literally overnight so that families were separated, parents from children, husbands from wives, brothers from sisters. The Palace of Tears was the last place they could see each other when they were reunited.
This former Tube station "Friedrichstrasse" is called Palace of tears, cause it was the place where Western citizens could pass the border to East Berlin....It was a sad place when they left again......Eastern citizens weren´t allowed to leave their country.....accept if a close relative was burried or so. As a GDR citizen you had to apply for a visum to leave your country, and not many wishes were accepted. Older people managed to get the visum more often, the risk that they stayed in the west wasn´t that big as for young people... As a young GDR citizen it was impossible to see the west.
The Traenenpalast has changed to a place of joy these days, as it´s a cutural center with many concerts etc.....
Well, ok it´s not really a must see but it´s still there. It has been closed after the end of the cold war cause of the Asbestos inside. I tried to take a pic of the reflection of the Funkturm, but the walls are too dirty already....
It´s Berlins biggest ruin this days!!!
viewing random communist monuments
I actually find ugly communist monuments kind of beautiful in their own way so I enjoyed both the scary Alexanderplatz areas and the beautiful old crumbling neighborhoods with more traditional Berlinese architecture. One thing about crazy communist monuments is that they were really creative with their cement and used a great deal of it in enormous and interesting ways. Today they seem a little empty and sad. These places are also full of packs of tourists, so if you're really lonely you can go here and offer to take pictures of people and authoritatively tell little stories about the monument until they figure out you're just a random tourist yourself
Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen is a former prison for politically disliked citizens during East German government. It is one of three East-Berlin prisons built for this purpose.
Former prisoners will guide you through this jail.
You can observe/live the cruelty of the communist regime by that time.
It is fascinating because there are real prisoners who guide you and who tell you their stories. There is no animation like in many museums. There are just the facilities and nevertheless you feel the atmosphere and get the feeling to not let anything like this ever happen again.
Visit the Gatow Aircraft Museum.
One example is a tribute to the Royal Australian Air Forces' crews contribution.
See my Berlin page for explanation.
An image that illustrates the Cold War like no other - a map of the divided city of Berlin, painted on a part of the Wall, nowadays known as the East Side Gallery.
This is one of the very first holes in the wall....it took some years after the wall was teared down by heavy vehicles.....the first holes were handmade!!!!!!!
I missed out on this celebration when the wall came down. You would never dare come this close to the wall when the guards were in place.