This, too, is Berlin

This is another take on Berlin, this time exclusively from an historical perspective. In addition to seeing beautiful paintings and ancient artifacts in Berlin, as I blogged about last week, I also visited important historial sites. For example, here are two photographs of the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in Berlin that was attacked on Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. These attacks against Jewish property and Jewish people were carried out by Nazis throughout Germany on 9–10 November 1938.

Plaque explaining key historical events that occurred at the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in Berlin.

This plaque says that this particular synagogue, which was 100 years old on September 5, 1966, was set on fire on November 9th during Crystal Night. It adds that during WWII, the synagogue was destroyed by bomb attack in 1943. Then it says the front of this place of worship should remain a constant reminder and remembrance for all time. Lastly, in large capital letters, it says Never Forget.

Here is the front of the synogogue. Isn’t it a beautiful facade?

The same day I saw the outside of this synogogue, I also went to the Berlin Wall Memorial. In addition to seeing segments of a part of the wall that remains, there were displays on boards and audio recordings for visitors in English and German explaining different events that occurred near the wall. There was also a memorial for all the people who had died trying to cross over the wall. According to a website about this memorial, at least 140 people were killed or died at the wall between 1961 and 1989. See https://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/todesopfer-240.html for details.

Close up photo of some of the Berlin Wall victims
Some of the loved ones of these victims are still living, as the flowers left for this man illustrate.
Here is the memorial to victims from a distance
What remains of the Berlin Wall by the memorial

Seeing all of this made me sad, of course. At the same time, though, I was reassured that the Berlin of today doesn’t hide its past but displays it so that people from Germany and from around the world can learn what happened there and hopefully decide to never allow anything like this to ever happen again anywhere in the world.

12 thoughts on “This, too, is Berlin

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  4. That would have been very moving. I have a friend who escaped safely over the wall and eventually immigrated to Canada. Unfortunately, not all his family did and a sister ended up living in communist Germany. He was unable to visit her until after the wall came down.

    Liked by 1 person

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