Berlin today is a city brimming with life, exhibited beautifully and youthfully in its many jazz venues and raucous nightclubs. The verve that this, one of Europe’s most fascinating capitals, presents on a daily basis is impressive, especially considering the sobering history of the past century. Walk through town and travelers will no doubt spot the bakeries, bars and shops that signal life goes on, but they’re also likely to stumble across one of the many monuments erected to acknowledge and cope with the suffering that has left an indelible mark on German lives.
Whole tours of Germany are sculpted around the premise of revisiting Berlin’s past. The corresponding monuments, ranging from the Sinti and Roma Memorial to the book-burning square of Bebelplatz, may elicit a range of emotions from their visitors. Some may reflect on their place in the world, or the atrocities of war. For others, those monuments are an educational opportunity. To others still, they are a place to dwell on personal experiences of loss, as generations of families remain indelibly affected by the events of World War II. Some of these sites may be hard to visit, but the experience can be cathartic, enlightening and ultimately rewarding. Continue reading “From Neue Wache to the Wall: The powerful Holocaust monuments of Berlin”