Gleaming Potsdamer Platz
Where’s the action in Berlin? It’s all in the former East of the city, in places like Potsdamer Platz where building cranes have been replaced by gleaming new towers of exceptional, interesting architectural designs. The new Lehrter Bahnhof shines to the north of the new Chancellor’s residence and office. A long line of people wait to climb up into the glass dome of the Reichstag, burned in 1933 and blamed on the communists. It was Hitler’s ploy to scare the German people into accepting something like Marshall Law and it worked. Twelve years of Hell on earth followed. Nowadays, the blasted city of Berlin is once again the most exciting city in Germany. Munich seems stodgy by comparison.
Crosses in memory of those who died fleeing Communism
We were in Berlin for two nights, staying at the lovely Angleterre Hotel just on the West Berlin side of the former wall and down the street from Checkpoint Charlie. Two actors, one a “Soviet soldier” and the other an “American GI” stand there all day and into the evening posing with tourists for photos. Berlin shines at night and everyone likes to congregate around the Brandenburg Gate, long a bullet-scarred symbol of the divided city as it was behind the death strip and watched over by Soviet soldiers. Now, shining white crosses remember those who died trying to flee the East for the freedom of the West.
Our group near the memorial for the Berlin Airlift of 24 June 1948 – 11 May 1949
A stop at the former airport, Tempelhof, for a group photo in front of the monument dedicated to the memory of those who perished during the Berlin Airlift is meaningful for many reasons. Tempelhof was the first modern airport in the world. The Wright Brothers tested their aircraft engine here. The terminal at Tempelhof is the world’s third largest building. (Can anyone comment below on what structures hold the #1 and #2 spots?)