Monday, July 5, 2010

Through Raw History - 2

SS guard Uniform

Having come to Germany, I could not have gone without visiting a concentration camp. Sachsenhausen, in the suburbs of Berlin gave me that opportunity. Almost nothing remains from the period when humanity was lost right in here. And an audio guide can be highly insufficient to make the visitors understand anything close to what people once underwent here. And it was not over after 1945, whereafter, the Enemies of the State of Communist Germany replaced the Jews and POWs of Nazi Germany. Of course, they didn't match the planned torture that the SS exercised in their time, going to the extent of performing uncouth experiments on the Jews.

Potsdam is a city full of old palaces, Sansoucci being one of the most majestic ones. The green and gold of the palace against the blue sky made a wonderful combination that reminded me why I became a fan of the Brazilian flag, before being a fan of their soccer team.
Sanssouci palace

I had to return to Berlin to see some more history. Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (picture above) is in its ruins since the World War. Bullet holes are still visible on it. A hexagonal bell tower and an octagonal worship hall, has been built on either side of it.

A bit more of the wall was there at Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer). Behind the wall on the East side, the Russians had built a barbed wire fence followed by Guard Posts, anti Vehicle barricades, and then a screen to prevent direct eye contact between people on the two sides. One has to say that these Russians were really really scared.

Brandenburger Tor/Gate

The memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe is an abstract artwork of differently sized black blocks. We saw it from the bus trip yesterday, but did not have time to go there today. Instead I went to the Reichstag (parliament), where visitors are allowed to enter for free. There I discussed politics with an Israeli woman. When she asked me about my viewpoint on Tamil militants in Sri Lanka, I in my turn, quizzed her about her position, on Palestinians.

The Reichstag (parliament)

The large glass dome of the parliament from inside

The policy makers sit right there

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