Visiting and Remembering the Past

We visited three sites last weekend that took our memories back in past. They weren’t exactly happy reminders, but past times that should never be forgotten.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a sad and humbling reminder of the horrible past. Walking in the maze-like grid of the stelae had me feeling lost at times as I approached the slope of towering stelae that hid me from the public. The architect of the memorial, Peter Eisenman, wanted to create an uneasy and confusing atmosphere, to convey the lost of human reason to an ordered system. I think he got his message across to me. With the cold dreary day, and looking across the 2,711 concrete slabs, it’s hard not to think of all those people murdered and treated inhumanely.

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The Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate, Germany’s well-known landmark was built in the late 18th century. A former city gate, Brandenburg has had many political roles in the past. Not too long ago when the Berlin Wall was built, all traffic through the gate was stopped. And it wasn’t until after the fall of the wall in 1989 that the Brandenburg crossing was reopened.

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Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. It was the only checkpoint of which foreigners and members of Allied Forces could cross.

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Although these visit sites are tourist attractions, it was not a visit that made us feel at awe like seeing the Rome Colosseum. A reminder, yes, but so much more meaning than that when I think about the people who suffered and lost their lives during that dark period.

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