Away again, this time to Berlin

Pepper and I seem to go away a lot… this time our travels took us to Berlin for what was definitely going to be another fascinating city after visiting Budapest in February. I have a fascination with all things Nazi related and the Second World War, I don’t know where it comes from as I know it was a clearly awful time but, there is something about it that captures my imagination… I was extremely excited about seeing Berlin and visiting places where monumental things happened 60 odd years ago and I wasn’t about to be disappointed, or was I?

My only wish would be to see more signs of what went on, I know Berlin has been massively rebuilt but part of me was a bit miffed to not see more signs of Hitler’s reign. We saw the Brandenburg Gate where Hitler used to address the masses, that was pretty amazing, but at the same time it was in a built up area with shiny ,new buildings and fancy restaurant. I just wanted to see more gritty stuff, like in Budapest. Budapest had such an aura around it, it felt repressed still from the Communist reign, it felt hurt and it felt like it was still finding its way. The buildings reflected this, the people did. I would have liked to have experience this in Berlin and wondered if we would… and then we went to a concentration camp.

Sachsenhausen was the camp we visited. I think both me and Pepper were very moved by it. The entrance gates read ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ which means simply that ‘Work shall set you free’ – a statement that must have given the mostly political prisoners hope, far from it. Many thousands died there either through exhaustion, cold or simply executed for many reasons. Lots of the political prisoners were there simply because the didn’t agree with Hitler, many homosexuals also lost their lives here.

Sachsenhausen moved me so much that I will put a whole gallery up for it. It has also made me want to visit Auschwitz and I am sure I will be dragging Pepper around Poland before too long.

Berlin was a fantastic city, so much to do and see and definitely a city I want to go back to and I would, I would go again this year. We didn’t quite see everything we wanted to, even in 5 days.

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Written by Ben in: Misc |

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