2016-05-08 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Exactly 71 years ago, the World War II ended in Europe. And on the 25-year celebrations on 1970-05-08, I was in Berlin for the first time, together with colleagues and teachers in the final month of elementary school.

It was a fascinating journey, with ferry from Trelleborg to Sassnitz, and from there train through East Germany to West Berlin. One day, we took the S-Bahn into East Berlin and transposed the Berlin Wall. Once there, a colleague and I interviewed people on the streets about life in the East! And on the very day of the war end anniversary, there were of course heavy demonstrations about the current state of division of the German peoples. The following day, we also visited the Olympiastadion, where the West German football squad played against Ireland, resulting in a 2-1 win. Although the German team, coached by Helmut Schön, had top players such as Berti Vogts, Jürgen Grabowski, Wolfgang Overath, Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer and Uwe Seeler, the game was a tough fight. Full details can be found in reference # 1 below.

Then it would take 37 years until I returned to Berlin. The Wall was gone, although quite some things reminded me of what had been. I went on a very interesting sightseeing tour, with guide on foot. The whole event was scheduled to take 4 hours, but we had so many interesting questions that it was prolonged for 2 more hours! Today’s header image shows Berlin’s #1 symbol, Brandenburger Tor, and below are some other photos I took that day. The memorial of the holocaust is located close to there, and just beside the place where Hitler had his ultimate bunker. Seeing those stones, to signify all the people exterminated in the concentration camps, made a deep and very distressing impression on me. See also the other references below for more details about the most interesting city, and I dare to say, Europe´s de facto capital, Berlin.


4 photos I took on 2007-06-09. In the left column, from top to bottom: – The holocaust memorial; – A plate showing where the Berlin Wall used to divide the West and the East during more than 28 years; – Part of the original Berlin Wall. In the right column: Checkpoint Charlie, the famous crossing between West and East Berlin.

Finally, although I am not very fond of the American way of life, I must admit there are many interesting, creative people there. The web site CreativeLive is paying a tribute to some of them, through a series of video interviews, during the month of May, called 30 days of Genius. See reference # 6 below with a link to a subscription to the series, free of charge.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: West German football team defeated Republic of Ireland 2:1, 9 May 1970

2: Brandenburger Tor

3: Holocaust memorial

4: Berlin Wall

5: Checkpoint Charlie

6: 30 days of Genius

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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