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Back from Berlin

He who wants the world to remain as it is doesn’t want it to remain at all.  -Erich Fried

I encountered this quote on the East Side Gallery in Berlin where I was on vacation last week.  It was in stark black block letters on white.  It was flanked on both sides by far more colorful pieces of art.  After visiting the sites of so many injustices that the residents both endured and inflicted, it was this quote that managed to encapsulate the entire experience for me.

It is one thing to read in a history book that a terrible thing happened someplace far away, it is an entirely different feeling to stand on the spot they actually happened.  To stand and look at the train tracks that took people away.  To see the built holes that remain on the buildings.  To walk down a length of the wall that divided the city in half.  To talk to a friend who can point a spot on the side of the road and say “thats where woman with newborns were gunned down while my father watched.”

Its all real now.

If ever have an opportunity to do so, go to Berlin.  Its a great city today and its history is something everyone should touch and feel.

(Images are forthcoming)

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