Seeing Where the World Really Changed
It seems almost unimaginable now that for so many years, between 1961 and November 9, 1989, a wall divided East and West Berlin and tourists couldn’t cross easily beneath the Brandenburg Gate, and East Germans couldn’t easily get to the West, and this major city and this major country were divided: West, East. The Berlin Wall was a very real symbol of the figurative Iron Curtain representing Communist countries aligned, however voluntarily or not, with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Remnants of the wall remain near Berlin’s Topography of Terror, a museum chronicling the very bad years in Germany before and during World War II. What’s left of the wall, now crumbling, isn’t as intimidating as it surely once was; but crossing beneath the Brandenburg Gate is still a marvel even if there is a Times Square-like element in the form of costumed characters posing for pictures with tourists. I can’t quite decide how I feel about postcards and souvenirs featuring little pieces of the wall although, I suppose, this tourist trade couldn’t be more emblematic of the victory of capitalism over communism.
The wall itself, and Berlin, of course, are worth a visit and a moment of reflection
Planning a visit to Germany? You might like these posts:
- Hamburg to Berlin: When One Place Leads to Another
- Reason to Visit Hamburg: WWII Bunker Transformed to Green Energy Plant
- Germany Year Zero
- Tracking the Beatles in Hamburg