Thursday, December 1, 2016

Berlin Weekend, Part Zwei

Our second day in Berlin, we spent the morning on a walking tour to see more of the city. The Opera House, Humboldt University, the Dom and Museum District were on our itinerary.

Above you can see the bullet holes left on the columns at one of the museums, a very graphic reminder of World War II. The art and architecture of the city is very interesting, a unique twist of west meeting east, a marriage of the old and new.

We visited a tiny little museum, Otto Weidt's workshop for the blind. He was the a small scale Oskar Schindler. Otto employed mainly blind and deaf Jews during the war. They produced brooms and brushes in the rooms we toured. Otto spent the war years trying to protect his Jewish workers from persecution and deportation. We saw a windowless back room hidden behind a wardrobe where he hid three people for a couple years to save them from the Nazis.

We also had the chance to see several stolperstein, known as stumble stones. They are small commemorations of Jews persecuted by the Nazis during their regime. These square brass plates are installed in the pavement outside buildings where Jews lived during the war.

On our way to a new Christmas market Saturday evening, we snooped through the local Mall of Berlin. It's a funny thing - Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Europe, but they have Black Friday sales.

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