Today was my last full day with my daughter. We started out by visiting the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. We had visited the year before, and she has so far enjoyed revisiting the same places. The Museum of the Berlin Wall is dedicated to one small stretch of the Berlin wall famous for picture of escaping East Germans. The wall was built a matter of feet from apartment buildings, and these soon became famous for pictures of East Germans leaping from windows, over the wall, the way one might jump from a burning building into a stretched tarp. The East Germans quickly got wind of the escape route and mortared the windows. After that, they demolished the apartment buildings and a church as well—the latter in the mid 1980’s.
This portion of the wall was preserved. The area that is now grass used to be on the East German side and was peppered with land mines. I know a place, close by, where the wall still stands, unknown to tourists, and not a part of the museum. It’s half-hidden in weeds and half-grown trees.
As far as I know, the Gedenkstätte is the only location where a watchtower is still preserved. I remember Berlin before the wall fell and was well-acquainted with it. The old lights that you can see, like street lights next to the watch tower, had a sickly, greenish hue to them (at the time). I’ve seen the Gedenkstätte at night and the museum doesn’t reproduce that sickly light. We wandered round Berlin a little after that.
As always, one never knows what one is going to discover around the corner. And after that she wanted to go up into the Fernsehturm, a tower built by the East Germans and, despite all their other failings, a remarkable tower.
And enjoyed a cocktail at the bar. The elevator, we were told, rose at 6 meters per second. My ears were popping the whole way.
And after all that we had dinner out. There were lots of families, crying children, happy children, Berliners sitting in their balconies above use. Just down the road, the S-Bahn came and went. I gave her a sweet-dreams kiss before she went to sleep tonight, the last I’ll be able to give her for a long time, and shed a tear.
overseas, the crow looks down
234: August 22nd 2019 | bottlecap