Berlin (2015)
October 2015
1 month in Europe
We arrived in Berlin on the 25th anniversary
of the reunification of Germany
with the celebration centered at the Brandenburg Gate
Although this was our 3rd visit to Berlin,
we revisited the landmarks of the city including Museum island
Our previous visits are documented here 2011 and 2012

We were also able to celebrate Octoberfest.
Our cruisemate really got into the spirit.

Berlin has a dark history as well which is well documented
Bricks mark the path of the Berlin Wall which once divided the city
Memorials to those who lost their lives trying to escape to the West.
Many more were captured and returned to the east to face prison or death
Within site of the crystal dome of the Reichstag and the American Embassy
with its flag at half mast in memory of one of our many mass shootings,
there is a memorial to the victims of the holocaust
The stones of varying heights are set among undulating walkways
People visiting here appear and disappear suddenly
just as was the case during the deportation to the death camps
Memorials to this horrific period of history can be found throughout the city

This sculpture in front of a Jewish cemetery remembers a site
of deportation to the death camps

The most poinant and personal memorials are these bronze plaques in front of the homes of those who were sent to their deaths.
The fascade of this Synagogue still stands although the interior was destroyed. It was not burned because of the adjacent apartment buildings were occupied by non-Jews
Adjacent to the only preserved section of the Berlin Wall
is a timeline of the "Topography of Terror"
To the right is a very intense museum and learning center
with original documents, photos, video and other artifacts
It's important to remember that millions of ordinary people followed Hitler
because he promised to make Germany great again and blamed their problems on a particular group.
We must guard against following anyone or any group who uses the same tactics. Once they gain power, it is often too late.
This is the site where Stauffenberg and those officers who attempted to asassinate Hitler were executed.
Berlin looks to the future as they preserve the past. When we visited in 2012, this site was a hole in the ground.
They are reconstructing the royal palace of the Hollenzollens which survived WWII but was destroyed by the Communists
Throughout the city we saw a blend of the old and the new.

Below is an old bridge over a canal

At right is the ultra modern "Sony Center"

The Berlin Technical Museum

A destination popular with Germans and Europeans
although not on the "must see" list of many Americans

We spent hours inside

Photos of the many fascinating exhibits
of the museum are located

Various sculpture adorn city streets and parks
This is one of the flowers that surround a parking garage