Sunday, August 7, 2011

Berlin...

So, today I would like to show you three collages of pictures taken in Berlin. We have been there many times since one of my husband's best friends has lived there just about his whole life. We love visiting him and we love history so what is not to like?



We had fabulous weather which was a good thing since I had hurt my back a day before we got there. By the time I got out of our car after nine hours or so I could barely move! Moving around seemed the best way to ease up the muscles so walking it was and there is tons of walking in Berlin I can tell you! So glad that worked out ok in the end... (it did take a week to completely disappear though)

While in Berlin we took an underground tour of two old bunkers. One was a bunker from the 2nd World War and the other was one from the early 1970's when we had the huge Cold War threat going on. Thank goodness neither bunkers were ever used for their intended purposes because boy, those were scary places, especially with several people underground for many days... I was not allowed to take pictures there so I have nothing to show you from that event...

The last day in Berlin we went to the following 'museum': (text borrowed from the internet)

Hohenschönhausen Memorial Center (Stasi prison museum)

Between 1951 and 1989 East Germany's Stasi secret police used this site in Hohenschönhausen as a detention centre / prison for unsentenced suspects. Holding mainly political prisoners, it was infamous for its regime of physical and psychological torture meted out to inmates. Following the fall of the Communist regime and the disbanding of the Stasi the prison was converted into a memorial museum, the Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, on the initiative of former prisoners.
The prison was originally established in 1945 by the Soviet NKVD, the forerunner to the KGB as an internment camp ('Special Camp Nr. 3' ). This camp was closed in October 1946 but the cellar was converted into cells and served as the main detention and interrogation centre for dissidents and other undesirables. It was taken over by the East German Stasi in 1951. By 1960 / 61 a new prison building had been constructed using prisoner labour; following the construction of the Berlin Wall many attempted escapees were held here. As well as the prison facilities the Stasi also ran other operations on the site, such as a workshop for forgeries. Much of the area around the prison was a forbidden zone.


Now this was a seriously intimidating place far in the Eastern parts of Berlin. Very interesting indeed, especially since our friend's wife was born on the East side and was 23 when The Wall fell. This all made it come much closer to home...

We felt that all this history was very important to show our kids and so on our way South to Munich we decided to stop by Dachau, one of the Nazi concentration camps. G. and I had visited Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz and Birkenau before we had kids but this one was new to us. It just never seizes to amaze us, in a negative way of course...


Well, enough serious stuff for now. More pics tomorrow of lighter subjects!


4 comments:

  1. Interessante post! En zie ik daar een Kochstrasse?

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  2. Very interesting. I haven't been to Berlin in ages, maybe we should go there for a weekend.....many interesting things to look at.
    Agneta kram

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  3. Inderdaad Carla, speciaal voor jouw hubbie! ;)

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  4. Berlin is really a beautiful city and of course historically interesting with all the war memorials.
    Kram, Monica

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