A couple of weeks back we went to Berlin to see my mom and Sara as they were both in Europe for different meetings. We chose Berlin because of its central location and the large number of recommendations. Berlin definitely lived up to the hype of being a fun, interesting city. As everyone mentioned there was not enough time to see everything but we made the most of it by going to a museum, walking along the wall, biking around town and eating at a beer garden. At the beer garden I learned how horribly wrong America makes Black Forest ham. The real deal is glorious.
While the modern feel of Berlin was awesome, there was the added historical interest of a place that had been divided for so long. When we went to check out the wall memorial, there was a sit-in of protesters who were waiting for a a pro-Nazi march to try to walk through the city. The scene of young people standing up to racist ideology in the shadow of a monument that arbitrarily split people based on political ideology was both encouraging and depressing. As a human race we continue to invent reasons to divide us and then spend our energy and youth’s passion on breaking them down. When asked the purpose of history my students frequently say, “to avoid making the same mistakes of the past,” yet that infers that at some point we have seen the error of our ways. The march of Nazis and Trump’s rhetoric make me wonder if some of the terrible ideas and movements just go dormant rather than end up truly destroyed, in which case we will continue to have to rely on the energy of youth to suppress these ideologies when they flare up.
I’ll let the pictures tell the story of what we saw.