One goes to Berlin to understand, rather than to see – unk.
The Berlin Wall (above) was physical evidence of the split between nuclear-armed East and West that threatened to destroy us all during the decades after the end of WWII. My generation was born shortly after Nazi Germany’s surrender, and our lives have been defined by that global political divide.
I’m going to Berlin for a month to study the language and look at some reminders of the tension we lived through. My last trip to the German capital was marked by harassment from Soviet guards at Checkpoint Charlie, shopping at Alexanderplatz with black-market East German marks, a papers check by submachine-gun toting People’s Police on a subway stretch that ran under the East, and a somber visit to Spandau Prison, where Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess was serving a life sentence. The wall has been gone now for more than the 26 years it stood, and much more of Berlin will have changed. I look forward to the surprises.
Good to have you along.