First week of classes down! The classes and the class load (taking 2 classes) is what I expected. There are going to be nights where I stay in and write a paper then go and explore Berlin. Student first. This weeks excursions though were pretty awesome! We got to go to the Jewish Museum which showed you the beginning of Jewish history up to the Holocaust. The beginning part was what really inspired me the architect created the “Garden of Exile” which is built at a slant with these tall pillars with trees in them. It is suppose to make you feel sick and isolated.
The architect also created another illusion which was suppose to symbolize the inside of a cattle car which many Jews were forced on when taken to the concentration camp. It was a horrifying experience to be alone in the dark with just a little ray of sunshine coming through from the top of the tower. The door was heavy and slammed shut once you went through. I could never imagine being on one of those and not knowing I was on my way to my death. A terrifying experience. Also, through the museum there were “memory voids” one in particular was called “Fallen Leaves” which was full of steel faces so when you walked in the memory void you stepped on these faces making all sorts of noise.
The other excursion we went on this week was to Potsdam, a city thirty minutes outside of Berlin, which houses the Summer castle of Fredrick the Great! We got a guided tour through the King of Potatoes castle and learned some interesting facts about the great king himself! For instance, he was buried with his dogs!
On our way back from Potsdam, Professor CH took us to Track 17 which is a Holocaust memorial site donated by the UBahn Rail System. This is where 55,000 to 65,000 Jews were shipped off to various Concentration camps from Berlin. The crazy part is that the Rail System would get paid for every Jew they shipped to a concentration camp. Every body has there sins …