Do you ever have a stop on your itinerary that doesn’t get you all kinds of excited? Berlin was one of these stops for me… for no real reason either. This was my first time in Deutschland, and maybe my lack of knowledge about the city was the reason for my vanilla vibes? Who knows! What I do know is that Berlin was all kinds of wonderful. The place is a melting pot; of people, cultures, cuisine and history! The art scene is edgy, the people are edgy; it was like no place I have visited before.
You will notice a line of bricks that exist where the nearly 100 mile Berlin Wall once stood.
Our German host family lived about an hour S-Bahn ride outside of the city center, and due to this we only spent 2 days downtown. On day 1 we visited the Holocaust Museum; The Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe. My trip up until this point basically chronicled WWII. From Normandy, to Brussels, to Amsterdam, and now Berlin, the scars left by the war were found everywhere. The experience that I had at the Holocaust memorial was humbling. Spending nearly 3 hours reading through letters from victim’s to loved ones, reading accounts of what went on in the concentration camps, meeting families through pictures and letters from all over Europe and beyond who were affected by the tragedy, who lost their childhoods, their families, and their own life. I was emotionally drained by the end of my visit, wondering how humanity allowed this to happen… how did we let this happen.. how can humans be so evil? It is heavy stuff. Important stuff. I learned more on my trip about the history of the world than I have ever learned before. We cannot let this happen again.
“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.” – Primo Levi, Holocaust Survivor
On our second day, we decided to participate in a free walking tour, an alternative, subculture tour! Woohoo! Something fun and light and different. It was AWESOME! Who knew that Berlin’s art scene was so badass? We walked around for hours, visiting artist squats and multicultural communities, all while hearing about the different wall and street art techniques and styles. So much art promotes peace, justice, unity and love. All the art was gorgeous, and using the wall as a canvas, turning something with such an ugly past into a place to spread positive vibes was uplifting in itself! The Berlin Wall went up in 1961 to separate East & West Berlin during the Cold War. The Wall was demolished in 1989 and was followed with the reunification of Germany. I was shocked to see that fragments of the actual Berlin Wall are still standing throughout the city. I am going to split up all of my photos from the alternative subculture tour into two blog posts; Berlin Wall art, and Berlin street art.
Berlin Wall art is featured below. So much to see, such little time!
Stay tuned for more on Berlin’s street art scene, coming soon!
Thank you for visiting, Guten Tag!