Deutschlive im Jahre 69, wow.

In Rossellini’s Germany, Year Zero, we see a boy Edmund Kohler coming of age, in post-war devastasted Berlin.

I had stayed away from Germany for years. I have been around Europe, but I have avoided Germany. Germany would have been a hastle with East/West. This is the 69th year since the war, 25 years reunified. My father always praised the Germans for being “modern.” My maternal Grandmother’s father had come from Germany to Vienna. But it was not one of those places, I was ready for.

anhalter banhof


Even just piece of the Anhalter Bahnhof is worth seeing, the first thing I see when I get off the S-bahn.

So after I can’t get a room in Prentzlau Berg, that i first wanted, I settled for one near Anhalter Bahnhof. Well, I settled for cheaper, but stumbled into gold.  It turns out Anhalter Bahnhof, was once a beautiful modern station built in the late 1800’s with one of those glass ceilings. WW2 came along and they bombed it to hell, but the walls stay intact as a station. It also had a bomb bunker. Lots of folks go “ooooh.” –Hell-oh!, where you most likely want to put a bunker, where the pe0-ple are? Not only to say about a block away is the big place where all the Gestopo do their best work in Berlin.

The great thing about this place is I sitting here within a walk of history. The Topography des Terror is a block away. Home of the Gestapo before and during WW2.  Potsdamer Platz is a spit away, as is Brandenburg Tor (Brandenburg Gate), as well as the Reichstag! Checkpoint Charlie, although somewhat of a tourist trap is nearby.

top of terror2So the first thing I head for is the Topographie des Terror.

There is so much to write about this, but I have to absorb it in. It is reminescent, but not as scary as the Terror House in Budapest.

erich honeckerHere is someone I did not expect to see there, the former General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, East Germany.

ss ladiesThe jig is up for some former SS ladies.

Now that I am here I begin to try to piece it together. It is twenty-five years since reunification. I had started looking into the devastation Berlin had seen. Hitler replays in your head, especially these day in the US. I remember Werner Fassbinder’s reflections and film oeuvre largely reflecting post-Adnauer Germany. Talking about guilt.

 

keithA little Keith Haring for lightness.

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The Sony Center is one of those “hip” places that people go to Potsdamer Platz and look at. As  was pretty much destroyed during the war, then split down the middle by the Berlin Wall, who knows what should have developed? I don’t know if people wanted to go back, but did they want this. Some Berliners, I have heard written, were not impressed.

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Great photo of Willy Brandt along Unter den Linden window exhibit.

DSC_0438Goofy tourists at Brandenburg Tor.

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The lady of Brandenburg Tor.

DSC_0350 A show about the Bundestag put on near it.

Deutscher Bundestag

It is a lousy shot, but enough to give you idea of the Deutscher Bundestag

The Congress of the Germany Republic, the building Hitler is purported to have had burned down. The Allies blasted it to smitherines, the East Berliners under Russia’s watchful eye, blew up the dome. Since reunification it’s dome has been redesigned by an Englishman, making it a tourist delight. There is so much to write about here. I do not want to trivialize or marginalize what these people have gone through and what they did. There are so many images I have photographed in a short day, got to get to bed. More to come.

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Grabbing a great pizza and bier at the corner joint. Ich bin ein Berliner, as Jack would say.

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