Berlin, healing his scars

Neue Wache / M. Damman

The capital of Germany is a big city that keeps some scars from its division periods. Though, today, people aren’t so different there from one part to another.

Brandenburg Gate proves it. It was one of the main door, surrounded by the Wall. In 2015, it is still the symbol of the past division where people gather to protest for and against the Islam community.

Berlin was entirely surrounded by the Wall. On the West side, it was divided in three: a part for the British, Americans and for the French. The East was only for the Russians. The surrounding was also closed by walls. This was to protect the areas against the invasion of the other side. Though, people lived there. Governments only used Berlin as several military bases.

The place where the Wall is almost intact is between Oberbaum and Ostbahnof. It starts (or ends) at the bridge then goes all along until the next subway station. People painted on it. At some places, you can see new construction. That is the location where the government talks about giving up part of their history for private investors.

When you get lost, or you understand the path of the wall, you can see the difference in the city; like that opera on the East side of Berlin, the Volksbühne.

On the other side, you see more like a French area with old and tall building that reminds of the center of Paris. The Museum Island, behind the Cathedral, offers a lot of exhibition on an islet. To get discount to most of the touristic places, the best thing is to have your student card up to date with you, and/or to buy the tourist welcome book, which contains maps, discounts, travel plans and transportation tickets. Without any of these, the trip can be quite expensive.

The cathedral and the Tw Tower behind / M.Damman
The cathedral and the Tw Tower behind / M.Damman

Berlin also kept his scars from the second world war. The memorial of Holocaust looks like a playground, where it is prohibited to scream. Inside, it looks like the floor is moving, and when you look up you can see the light between the grey cubes.

The Jewish museum is not located at the same place as the memorial is. You should take transportation to get there from it. The museum is really famous in Berlin, really big too. It tells the history of the Jewish culture, as it was lost.

To testify about this dark part of history, Berlin also have the Neue Wache, which is a mom mourning her death son. Today, people still go see her to mourn unknown soldiers, who died because of communism and tyranny. The place where she stands make you feel her pain.

Berlin also learnt from its several scars. Beside its dark side, outside, people live happily. They are always content to help you out, in any language. They answer you in German when you try to speak it. Locals like to go under the railroad at FriedrichstraBe where you can find plenty of small restaurants which sell typic German food.

On the street, during the holiday season, Berlin has a lot of Christmas markets. On each corners, you can find chalets that sell traditional food, handmade knitting and other stuffs. As in Belgium, there are hot wines, but the difference is you can buy it in proper glass with the date and the location on it. You can buy it by giving up the bail. There are also hot beers, which I didn’t dare to try yet.

Alexanderplatz was one of the busier places during the holiday season. There were chalet everywhere, full of gingerbread’s smell, and other sweets. A bit further, at Postdamplatz, there was a snow slide. On the evening, once the light turned on, the Christmas market was crowded. Sometimes, you could get lucky and see a seller making his items.

From the top, at the Tv tower, the view should be amazing. When I got there, it was snowing so the sky was full of cloud steam. We could see only 6 km away and it was expensive to get up there. One of the things I could see was the ice-skating around the fountain, it looked like a rosas. There was only one person skating around and around just before the lights turnt on.


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