A Pause to Learn and Remember, in Berlin

It's not our experiences that form us But the ways in which we respond to them. (Pico Iyer)

How do we respond when the guide of our morning tour says...                       "This is the memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe."
I'm not certain how many of our group heard her, because she was a quiet speaker, and the traffic noise was all around us since the Memorial is outside, as a park. But, I think that most heard and did not note what she said. And....I imagine that the line which I just quoted was exactly what she was supposed to say and was the official designation of this memorial. I understand it to mean that Germany is facing head on, that Jews were murdered. It is a stark introduction but one that I appreciated.
The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust is set on several acres of prime Berlin real estate just a couple blocks from the Brandenburg Gate and the US and British embassies. And it should be noted that in the park were memorials to the murder of Roma …

Dome of the Dom

Travel is not really about leaving our homes, But leaving our habits. (Pick Iyer)

This mornings destination was the Reichstag....German parliament building.  (Above is the top of the dome of the Reichstag)

The building itself is an old one and in the 1930's Hitler had his men set fire to it to prove that only he could protect the nation from thugs who would burn this symbol of democratic values.

After WWII and then after the unification of East and West Germany it was the plan to renovate the Reichstag and that proved controversial because of it's link to the Nazi's. But they voted and by a slim margin the government gutted the inside and redesigned it. 
This striking and beautiful dome is on the top. It symbolizes an open government with complete transparency.

And besides that, the building is a gem. Great to see, great to experience. Time and again we have experienced the forward thinking of the German Government as it continues to transform itself in Post WWII and Post Re-unifi…

Ich bin ein Berliner

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry,and narrow-mindedness, and many people need it sorely on these accounts. (Mark Twain)

The day begins early at the hotel in Eisenach and we walk downhill and downhill some more into the town and train station.  Our destination is Berlin.

Amber & Maike

Michael & Chad

We gather at the train station.
Andreas and Frank took us to the Wall. For me, this was THE touchstone of the Cold War and all that I remembered. Sharon, Andreas, Frank and I watched TV and saw the Wall crumble. I even recall when the Berlin section of the wall was sealed off in 1961. All the kids knew of the wall but the video histories which we watched, clarified this crucial time in history.
The Wall is gone, except for a few hundred yards of concrete remain, but the scar on the city, the country and the world remain. Scars remind us of pain and also are a reminder that things change. You see the bricks above and you see a "line" in those bricks....THAT…