Memorable Berlin

photo 1 (26)Germany, the country with bold history, genealogy and at one time had the most powerful cities in the world. I never had a deep desire to visit this part of the world, a place that had once housed mine and many other’s ancestors, until I stepped foot into this fascination country.  With German heritage running through my families veins, we grew up using German phrases, eating German food and driving German cars.

My older brother Jacob, who builds and restores Volkswagens, built me my first car, a 1968 VW Bug….. which sometimes left me stranded but made my driving days as a youth, memorable and extremely entertaining… if you have ever driven a vintage Volkswagen (or pushed one to the nearest gas station), you know exactly what I’m talking about. Every time us girls went on a trip we tried to get Jake to travel with us, his answer was always the same, “When you go to Wolfsburg and I can go to the Volkswagen museum, then I’ll go.” Germany had yet to be on the map of our travels, and wanting Jake to come, we decided to make a special trip, for just him. We never made it to Wolfsburg on that trip but we did finally make it to Germany.

Wandering through Berlin, with its immeasurable sites of history, we stumbled onto a field of concrete pillars. After walking through the 19,000 sq. meters of 2.711 concrete pillars (so called steles) of varying heights that creates a grid-like structure on uneven yet smooth terrain, we came to an understanding that this field was a monument to those who had been victims of the Holocaust.

Close to the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin, the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” is found. Visitors can enter the structure from all different ends of the monument, walk through the wave like structure and enjoy the extraordinary design. This monument has had much controversy behind the design, construction and meaning to the memorial. Regardless of those strong feelings against this Berlin attraction, you must makphoto 2 (26)e your way to see and experience the disarray of order. As you walk through the concrete field, you begin to see the innocence that can be found there. Children running, playing and hiding from each other. This place becomes a playground of strangers.. running into those who are just around the corner, enjoying yourself and finding yourself laughing with people you have never seen or will see again.

Peter Eisenmann, the architect of Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, definitely had more in mind that just a structure. When people can visit a monument and leave with an unforgettable experience that puts a mark on their souls, then the art piece is no longer just a concrete structure. With the seriousness nature of the symbolism to this monument, brings the understanding of the complications of life and that there still can also be found the enjoyment of innocence and peace in it. As we learn from the disarray of the past, we can all enjoy the playground of the future, laugh and let our old souls become young again. Walk, play, laugh and Go Lost with others who walk the uneven pathways and concrete pillars, in memorable Berlin.

XO From Berlin, Germany

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