Monday, September 20, 2004

I have just returned from my adventures in Germany. So many things to mention, to describe, and to ponder. In due time I will make these but it is my first day in the office, I am feeling the unusual sensation of initiative and will try to make the most of it. So, just a little post.

Berlin is an incredible city. So much art. Big wide streets. Street art scattered like confetti. So much of recent western civilisation has occured among these blocks. The decimated corpse of an ancient cathedral testifies to the consequences of world war. A strip of pavement demarcates where one ideaology was seperated by another. It used to be a wall. A very famous wall which most germans step over with out a glance or thought. Why should they? They lived here it was just a wall to them, to us tourists it was a far more frightening abstraction. Now, in this city which is familiar with the ways of walls and their purpose of keeping one seperated from another has a new wall. This one is much smaller than the earlier incarnation. This one surrounds a square block of city which contains in the middle an ordinary building which just happens to have a bald eagle emblem and an American flag. When I saw the huge concrete fortifications blocking the road, I first thought it was a recreation of Checkpoint Charlie for the benefit of the tourists. The men and women standing gaurd were not in period uniforms. They were modern day police. You are allowed to approach the building by foot which I did to the consernations of my companion (Germans in uniform still make her nervous). At every street corner there were two police. The building was dwarfed by the security measures. It made me incredibly sad. After visiting sites like the remains of the Berlin wall and a concentration camp to see yet another barrier. Whether made to keep people in or keep them out, there is no denying that walls in Germany mean sadness for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment