Saturday, June 9, 2012

FYI: The Berlin Wall is No Longer

The Bricks Indicate Where the
Berlin Wall Stood
The other day, I was sitting at a local Friedrichshain café and overhead a conversation between two young American tourists. They were discussing what they should see. They had a check list of "must-do's," including a visit to the Berlin Wall. They had just finished visiting the East-Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall that's been preserved and become an outdoor museum. They were somewhat frustrated since they hadn't yet found the complete and "real" Berlin Wall. (I didn't have the heart to tell them that for the most part, the Berlin Wall was completely bulldozed after German reunification; and aside from the East-Side Gallery, there are just a few small sections left.)

This conversation didn't surprise me. I find many young people, especially Americans, with little knowledge of history or geography. I still remember an episode when an acquaintance said he didn't want to see a particular Australian film because he didn't like foreign subtitled movies. (He thought Australia was Austria.)
Closer View 

Even though more than 98 percent of the Berlin Wall no longer exists, you can still see where it stood by looking on the ground. The Berlin local authorities have marked the Wall's location in brick. It's not the original Berlin Wall, but it does give you an idea of how West Berlin was an isolated island during the Cold War. 

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