Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

Little girl, little girl. Why are you crying? Inside your restless soul, your heart is dying.

So Berlin is basically down.  There is so much I haven’t done (particularly I didnt hit the nightlife of Berlin ashard as I couldve as I had such full days of tourist stuff) so I guess I will have to come back some time.  Not that that will be much of a chore.  I have really enjoyed my time in Berlin.  I had differing reports from other people about how good of a place Berlin is but I suppose as I am such a 20th Century History/politics nut there isn’t many more interesting cities for me.

 

Today I had a little bit of a sleep in before heading off to two museums.  The sleep in wasn’t really intentional but for some reason a lot of things in Germany (including shops and museums) open at 10am.  It is weird coming from Australia where everything basically opens at 9am if it will be open for the daylight hours.  However, I am never one to complain about HAVING to sleep in a little more😛

 

The first museum I went to was the Deutsches Historiches Museum which was a really interesting place.  Basically it covers the history of the German people and region from day one until now.  It covers everything in detail but also from a distinctly German viewpoint and it is always good to hear a different telling of history to get a more complete picture of the events that took place.  Included in the collection where Napoleon’s hat, Hitler’s desk (which was massive and an imposing structure especially when you imagine a short Austrian sitting behind it) and loads of authentic documents, posters and objects from throughout the 20thcentury.  For me the best parts were the story of World War 1 from a German perspective as well as how they dealt with explaining the Nazi period.  Also the East/West Germany period was covered well as the museumsplits down the middle witha metal wall for those times before ending with loads of original footage of the events leading up to the wall coming down.  Overall it was a cool place to explore and the kind of museum that you spend four hours in before you realise it.  It only cost a fiver as well!

 

Just over the road-ish is the DDR Museum.  Basically this is a private museum dedicated to the East German times and is designed to give an insight in to life behind the iron curtain.  I couldn’t help but compare it to the Communism Museum in Prague and the differences were bold.  Firstly the DDR Museum was better organised (although slightly smaller) and seemed a little bit more polished.  The biggest difference seemed to be the parts of positive nostalgia to be found in the DDR Museum that one would be struggling to find in the Prague Communism Museum.  It talks about all facets of life from transport, sport, nudism, education, work, etc, etc and a large part of it seems to be looked on fondly.  The old television shows are presented much like if I was to put together a museum exhibit for Johnson and Friends and SuperTed.  The “crappiness” of the Trabantcar was discussed almost witha smile as people were able to fix the car themselves without the need for fancy equipment.  Even the fact that public transport ticket machines were enforced by having the last persons coin displayed so social control, rather than ticket inspectors, would be used or the “collective potty training” of toddlers were somewhat happy times in the history.  It touches on the dark side of communism with the Stasi, doping in sport and the equal but unequal social hierarchy but only partially.  I think this difference is because this is a private museum set up by an East German.  The Communism Museum in Prague was set up by Americans. Obviously the owners and organisers are expressing their own ideologies in the collections.  Bothare interesting points of view although I am pretty sure the truth of the matter falls somewhere in the grey area between the two contrasts.

 

Anyway that is my German experience done with.  I will be having an early night tonight as I need to be up at 4am to get to Wales via metro, train, bus, plane, trains and more trains.  However, at least I know that all the punishment of travel will be worth it as although I will be in Wales…I am there to catch the Ashes test match with the guys.

July 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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