Reflecting on the terror in Berlin

We got our first spontaneous “Hello” from one of the kids at the track this morning at Messe Sud. We’ve seen them for the past week and we are becoming part of the furniture at the track. The staff at the track are very friendly and keen to help us out if we need it. 

I think the kids are fascinated by our Australian accents as well of course with the super “cut” athletes turning up everyday.

  • I was in the gym (spoke to one of the local footballers Roger who plays for Tennis Burussia Berlin
  • Lara did 15 minutes of fartlek and discovered a new track outside the main stadium. This one was a 10 lane 60m with a huge long jump pit at the end of the lanes. Wild.
  • Loz and BJ smashed out their 300’s like the boss told them to

After that we headed back home for a quick lunch and some of the cheap snacks we bought at the Lidl last night.

We headed in to see the Topography of Terror at 3:30. This is a free outdoor museum showing the atrocities of the Nazi regime on the site of the former headquarters of the SS. The building suffered major damage at the end of the war and was demolished  in te late 50’s. It’s not too graphic which was fortunate. As you go through the chronological display you get a sense that the worst is always just around the corner, but fortunately they draw the line about fully describing what went on.

Second longest section of the wall remaining
Second longest section of the wall remaining

 

Some of the highlights…

  • The “Red Orchestra” which were the very brave crew who mostly ended up in concentration camps for daring to undermine the Nazi regime
  • I never knew that the concentration camps in Germany were themselves “cleansed” of Jews, Hitler preferring to ensure even the camps in Germany filled with dissidents were made up entirely of the “superior race”. That’s how the Jews ended up in Auschwitz (The genocide of the Jews was referred to by the Nazis as the “European question of the Jews”)
  • German girls who had relationships with prisoners were publicly humiliated by having their hair cut-off
  • The SS encouraged parades that mocked the Jews where German participants were encouraged to wear “hooked” noses 

We spent 2 hours looking and reading the displays and it was only about 100m long. It is wonderful to see Germany and Berlin commemorating this though to keep it at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

We headed to Checkpoint Charlie after the museum as a good segway into finding out more about the GDR period later in the week which I personally find the most fascinating part of Berlin’s history.

Author: patbirgan

Australian living in Italy and managing the AIS European Training Centre. In my spare time I like to watch, write, tweet, commentate, manage, immerse in all things athletics.

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