Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 36

Day 36 Berlin - Tuesday 3rd August
Guten tag!!!
The heavy skies and soaking rain reverberated a few sobering moments today. We visited the Berlin Wall and the Jewish Cemetery.
I clearly remember (in the 70s and 80s) nervously following events throughout the Cold War days as the western aligned countries and Soviet/Eastern Bloc traded veiled threats of war. I really thought we would probably all be blown up in a nuclear blast!
The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was symbolic to us all that ..just maybe...the world was coming to its senses. To touch the remaining sections of the wall that so brutally dissected a city and witnessed death, cruel repression and madness was a powerful experience. It's great that a couple of parts of the wall have been preserved as a lesson to the world.

The Jewish Cemetery up the road from our hotel contains 1,000s of graves dating back to the 1600s. While in some ways it is a pretty place with its leafy treees and ivy floor covering, there are some disturbing areas that were destroyed by the Nazis in 1943. Jagged pieces of broken tombstone lie uncomfortably beside the intact headstones. It brings home the the clear intent of the Nazis to break the spirit and heart of the Jews. Males are expected to wear a kippah as a mark of respect.

Morning tea - meditating before the arrival of yummy apple strudel and capuccino.

Luxury accommodation??? - actually the apartment was lovely inside.

A kids' marching band practising in the Alexanderplatz Square.

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