LAYERS OF HISTORY // Berlin, Germany

I was quite excited to be in Berlin, as it’s a city that I actually already knew a bit of history about. Not that I had ever studied it in detail, but I can recall a bit of information about the Cold War and the Weimar Republic from my year 11 History days.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter being lucky enough to score a bike from my airbnb host, I once again embarked on a Sandemans New Europe tour. There was a ridiculous amount of people at the sign up point, but they have plenty of tour guides. So despite the hundred odd people lining up, I was still in a comfortable group of 26.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe started of in one of the main squares. The above hotel is infamous for being the spot where Michael Jackson dangled his child out the window!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe then moved along to the Holocaust Memorial. It was a strangely moving experience. There is no information available, so one can interpret it as they will. The ground was uneven, with concrete blocks of differing heights across the square. As you walk through, it grows darker and more quiet, and no one can walk next to you, so you feel oddly alone.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis carpark is built of the top of what was once Hitlers bunker, where his last days were spent.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESNext, our focus turned from Hitler to the era of the Cold War. This is the front area of the former Ministry of Ministries. The photo on the ground depicts the people of East Berlin protesting poor working conditions, while the mural in the background was created by the government, depicting the people of East Berlin happy and prospering. An interesting juxtaposition, exemplifying what life was like in the city.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRemnants of the wall.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESCheckpoint Charlie, so many tourists. You could line up and get your photo taken with some guys dressed in military garb, and get an “authentic” passport stamp.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThese buildings cast us back even further in history, to the time of Frederich the Great. The array of history in this one city is fascinating.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESA plaque to commemorate the book burning by the Nazis.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe TV tower, rather ugly but apparently well known.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter the tour I headed to the DDR Museum. It was small, but interesting, filled with interactive displays about what life was like in East Berlin. The above car was quite popular at the time, despite essentially being a cardboard box on wheels!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESApparently I would have failed as the perfect socialist child. Whoops.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFinally, it was on to the East Side Gallery.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe wall was oddly beautiful, despite the graffiti ruining many of the pieces.

I have another day to explore the city today, so I best be off!

– Reanna.

 

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