Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
Can a city ever tire of itself, of its history?
We have to wonder this of Berlin.
Restricted by a visit of only one week (three turned into one, courtesy of Dalene being so sick), much of our time was spent only at the major sites, learning of the difficult history that plagues Germany’s capital. Few places we visited were free of monuments, markers, or memorials of some type.
Look! Under that parking lot is the bunker where Hitler died! And this is the new neighbourhood built after the Berlin Wall was removed! It’s what many tourists come to Berlin for.
Americans may tire of constantly being challenged on politics, and we definitely tire of hearing about the plague of Bieber (although many foreigners just assume he is American, and on those occasions we choose to not correct them). Neither of these compare to having to talk about the scourge that once existed in Berlin though – and not just on a single occasion either, but decades of events that kept the spotlight of the world harshly fixed on it. Indeed, these events should be remembered and talked about, lest we forget. History is our greatest teacher.
But modern day Berlin must surely be exhausted of it – of being that dark symbol, of being such a teacher of how-not-to-be. It is a heavy burden to bear.
There is so much more to the city, if visitors choose to find it, but we wonder how many do. If they looked beyond they would find so much unconventional beauty that it hurts. It pained us greatly to not get to use ever minute of our three weeks to comb Berlin, to give it more of the attention it deserves.
Although not labeled as such, consider these postcards part one in a series, as we left unsatisfied. We must return for more.