Hey everyone! It’s Jess here. I had a wonderful Day #3 on the Eastern Europe trip. I started the morning off with a delicious German breakfast. A baguette with prosciutto, salami, and cheese! Yum! We then met up with Arja Jacob and her adorable dog Lulu. Arya gave us a tour of Nazi history sites. It was a long, but fascinating walk. She was very knowledgeable and energetic about all the things she showed. I liked learning about Berlin both before and after the war and the site of Adolf Hitler’s bunker was so intriguing.
Lunch at the Mall of Berlin was great! It a massive building, with lots of stores and restaurants. I decided on eating schnitzel. #SchnitzerEatingSchnitzel! I also got bubble tea, it reminded me of home. We then visited the Topography of Terror Museum. It was a busy place but I liked how it flowed and they had lots of informational pictures. Here I finally understood the difference between the SS, SA, and Gestapo. I think that learning about the Nazis themselves is a very important aspect of the Holocaust. They also had a section dedicated to Kristallnacht, such a powerful event during the Holocaust.
The documentation center under the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was possibly my favorite part of today. That is how you do a museum. The information was fascinating and they gave you personal accounts from people. The set up was beautiful and extremely reflective. They had a room in which you heard the names and a description of all the victims of the Holocaust. There were so many of course so I only heard a couple. The room was so dark and you just sat by yourself and listened to the names and their life. It was so powerful, yet simple, just like the memorial. The memorial was very abstract. When you walked deeper among the blocks, they towered over and you felt more lost and enclosed. It was sometimes frustrating because some people were taking selfies and disrespecting the memorial.
Next we got a tour of the Bundestag, the government building. It’s a gorgeous building, combined with modern and classical design. What I liked about the tour was that it was a combination of learning about the German government but also the history. The building is complete with a giant glass dome on the roof. We were able to go up and take photos. Germany is beautiful at night!
To finish off the night we went to two memorials, the Roma and Sinti, and the Homosexual victims. I loved the Memorial for the Roma Sinti but not quite as much the one for the homosexual victims. I felt as though it didn’t have a deep meaning to it. Also it projected a video of gay couples kissing to demonstrate homosexuality. While I understand what they were going for, I think this is a two dimensional view of gay people. Homosexuality is more than just physical attachment and I didn’t feel as though this memorial displayed that. I think that it is great that they have a memorial for the homosexual victims but I think it could have been better.
All in all it was a great day and I am excited for the future adventures ahead of us. I have had a great couple days practicing my German and getting to know more people. I already feel more educated and connected to the Holocaust and we’re not even halfway done! Auf Wiedersehen!
2/17/2019 07:42:22 am
2/17/2019 10:12:36 am
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