Tue-Do #6: Berlin, Germany!

Notice that slight name change in the title? That’s thanks to my friend Melody, a videographer from DIS who is in my core class and enjoys puns just as much as me! At the end of the semester Melody and all of the other videographers will make a video of their semester her at DIS and I’ll be sure to put a link to that video in my blog! Thanks for the idea Melody! 🙂

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At the end of my long study tour my friend Erica and I decided to spend the weekend in Berlin before going back to Copenhagen! We didn’t get to our hotel until late on Friday evening so we ended up wandering around the city looking for a good place to eat dinner. Along with Erica’s cousin Jenny, we found a quiet cafe across from the concert hall in Berlin where we got a late night dinner consisting of sandwiches, curry wurst, and beer. We felt so European eating late at night in this little cafe that was decorated in an early 20th century fashion, it ended up being the perfect introduction to Berlin’s unique charm.

 

On Saturday morning we decided to walk to most of the major tourist attractions in Berlin like the Typography of Terror Museum, Memorial for Murdered Jews in Europe, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, Checkpoint Charlie, and to see parts of the wall. Lucky for us it was gorgeous outside, like almost 70 degrees and super sunny which made our walk so enjoyable! We stopped for lunch to get some more curry wurst before doing a little shopping and going back to the hotel to take a nap.

 

Before we knew it Sunday came along and we had to say goodbye to Jenny because she was flying back to Seville, Spain where she is studying for the semester. Erica and I decided to spend most of our day at the East Side Gallery which is a large section of the Berlin Wall that remains with over a 100 different murals painted on it depicting the joy when the wall came down and many wishes for a peaceful future. Walking along the wall was a moving experience, especially given the current talk of building walls in parts of the world (*cough* Donald Trump *cough*). It was amazing to think that this wall was standing less than 30 years ago, completely dividing a city in two and separating friends and family from each other.

 

Spending the weekend in Berlin really made me think about how present history is in our lives. The differences in how East and West Berlin developed post WWII and the building of the wall are still so clear to see that it was rather shocking. Taking a U-train to get to the East Side Gallery essentially took us from the wealthier, more developed West Berlin to an area of East Berlin that was still trying to recover economically and which had much more art within it. When we went to the Typography of Terror museum I learned more about the rise of Hitler and his Nazi regime, but also how many of the people from the higher echelons of his regime went back to their regular jobs post WWII because it was often hard to put them on trial for their crimes. Even Checkpoint Charlie had so much duality surrounding it because it used to be such a secure , militaristic point in the city where people died that now stands next to a McDonald’s. Of all of the areas I’ve been to in Europe so far, Berlin was by far the most in-touch with their past, probably because its a rather unpleasant one that they’d rather not repeat.

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Checkpoint Charlie….next to a McDonald’s

I’m still trying to process everything I saw in Berlin, but the best way for me to end this post is probably with my favorite mural from the wall which says “Say YES to freedom, peace, dignity, and respect for all. Say NO to terror and repression towards all living beings…No more war. No more walls. A united world.”

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