Berlin Gallery

“After a decades-long postwar rift, Germany’s capital has been reunified and undergone a remarkable rebirth as a center of art, culture and great architecture. It is still riding the wave of its newfound energy, and exploring its streets feels akin to browsing a newly opened museum. Risen from the ashes of war, many of its buildings that once stood for division now embrace unity. Among them, the Reichstag parliament building embodies a new transparency with its glass dome, and the city’s Museum Island celebrates self-expression and creativity.” — Viking RiverCruise

We saw both East and West Berlin, and noted the differences. Having been to Berlin in 2007, The differences are less now than before, but you can still see the starkness of the EDR in the buildings in East Berlin. Pieces of the Berlin Wall are scattered in many places, a few in the original state, but most, in the German style, have been repurposed to be made something different, a statement that would not be acceptable to the EDR. Colorful paintings, graffiti, portraits and more can be seen on the portions of the Berlin Wall. The stories we heard, of overnight separation of family that lasted years, of instant killings for attempts to cross to the other side, of rations and severe limits on many goods – This was the beginning of the stories we heard about East Germany under the EDR. Everything was utilitarian in style, with a lot of concrete and gray. The Berlin Wall literally went up over night. The “police” were more like a remnant of the gestapo than the police we know. Under Stalin, the USSR control, Eastern Germany had lot of rules to follow and few rights.

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