Posted by: sommecourt | 26/02/2011

Berlin: Some Scars Won’t Heal

Having just come back from a city break in Berlin, even when I’m away on holiday one eye is always on the history around us; having a job that is also your hobby, that is your way of life, it’s almost unavoidable. And that was certainly not too difficult in Berlin where almost every street tells the story of some aspect of events in the twentieth century, and often beyond.

Looking at how Berlin sells itself in terms of history one absent subject is much mention of the Second World War except in reference to the Holocaust. There are Berlin Wall maps and walks, Cold War tours but very little about the Battle of Berlin in April-May 1945. But when you wander round the streets, especially in the old East zone, the scars of that battle are very much evident. From figures on buildings minus heads, arms and legs to huge structures like the Pergamon Museum which is covered in machine-gun bullet impact marks, and damage from cannon and tanks shells. Each year tens of thousands of visitors walk by these buildings, seemingly in total ignorance of the tough battle fought in these streets. It seems to reflect the attitude to the war in Germany as a whole, where mention of it in the popular press, in the media, and in society in general is limited to say the least. The majority of Berliners may have forgotten the end of days in 1945, but the scars on its buildings still pay homage to those events which shaped Europe for a generation.

Battle Damage at the Pergamon Museum



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: