Blogging our way through Eastern Europe
Wednesday, April 11--day 1
It’s been more than 24 hours and we are tired with very little sleep but Germany is so WONDERFUL! We got to experience Munich for a few hours and get ourselves acquainted with the intricacies of European travel, especially for those who have never travelled out of the country!
Almost missing our second short flight to Berlin, we arrived safely and finally got to travel on a DOUBLE DECKER BUS, with a very skilled driver. Almost immediately every student in there was in awe of the sheer beauty that is Berlin’s architecture and aesthetics, especially older types of complex architecture alongside very modern sleek block buildings, with murals, artwork, and vibrancy everywhere in between. Our first stop on the bus was Gleis 17 (Track 17), a train stop in Grünewald that was held significance in being one of the big deportation sites for Jews in Berlin, with embossed dates, amounts, and final destinations for trains sent to camps or ghettos like Theresienstadt, Łódź, Auschwitz, and many others. It was astounding the accuracy of the numbers provided, as well as the casual manner in which German citizens treated a pretty significant monument, which I believe we all treated with respect. Our next stop was in Wannsee, specifically the beautiful Wannsee villa in which the Wannsee Conference was held, a meeting held by Heydrich Reinhard, discussing the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe, mainly discussing the new ways to “evacute” aka mass murder thousands and millions of Jews. The terrible conference that had taken place there in 1942 was completely juxtaposed by the beauty of the villa, overlooking several gardens and an amazing lake with artistic architecture all around.
Our final and most exhausted stop was in West Berlin, the Bavarian quarter specifically, where the Bayerische Platz had several Stolpersteine, or “stumbling stones” that were created by an artist who placed bronze inlaid stones in front of the last known residences of Holocaust victims, as well as observing the many placards places under several lampposts, all of which displayed examples of the restrictive laws created against the Jews, specifically because of the large Jewish population housed in that neighborhood.
All in all, as exhausted, dehydrated, and sweaty as we were, we are extremely tired but so excited to be in Germany, especially with the gelatinous potatoes and German dancing at HB München for dinner. Thank you to Ms. Freeman, Mr. Gavin, Mr. Howard, Ms. Foley, and Julie for helping keep us together and not get run over by Berlin bikers. Auf Wiedersehen
Thanks to you and Xiadi for such beautifully detailed descriptions of the places you visited and your impressions of them.
Sounds like an incredible but exhausting day! Hope you all have gotten some sleep. Thanks for your post!
Thanks for the elaborate description, Elena! Amazing how such a beautiful place can hold such an evil history.
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