Today was our first day in Berlin. We left Bonn at 8am to sit on the train until we arrived at 2. While on the train, I read about Terrorism (an article for class) for three hours. After I grew tired of this, I read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnage. I love this book. I only read it on the trains and public transportation, or sometimes before bed. The rest of the trip, my Kindle wouldn’t turn on so I couldn’t finish the last 10 percent of it. That was disappointing.
We arrived in Berlin and went on a bus tour which included some walking which I was unprepared for (clothing wise). First we saw the Brandenburg Gate. This place is merely amazing because it is the famous site where the Wall fell in 1989. It was cool to imagine all the happy people on that day. We also went to the site where Hitler’s bunker was and where he killed himself. It was a strange place because it was just a parking lot with apartment buildings around it and a playground on top of where Hitler killed himself. It sort of disgusts me to write that down. I don’t like his name. It is strange because writing this now makes him more real for me. I think for so long that this name, Hitler, has been an image, a thought, not a real person. Maybe because he wasn’t human. He disgusts me. What a disgusting, piece of shit! …..
After seeing where the ****** killed himself, we went to the Memorial for the Murdered Jews in the center of Berlin. It was beautiful and moving and artistic and big and cold. Walking through it alone, you could see other people for just an instant as they passed through the massive cement vertical coffins. The ground is not level, the coffins are not all the same. I felt lost walking through them. I could see civilization through them, but I didn’t look at it. I looked up and felt small. I looked down and felt big. It was quite. I did not want to stay there for long. I wanted people to not take pictures. The size of each cement block said something about the people. It said that each was an individual. That each had their own life. That each life was taken. There were so many. I thought of mass graves. I thought of the cold, lifeless hearts that murdered so many people because they were classified as Jews. I don’t understand it at all. How do people live with themselves knowing that they have taken someone’s child, brother, mother, sister, grandmother, future parent. I don’t get it. It almost isn’t real. It isn’t real.
We saw many old and rebuilt buildings. I don’t remember their names. We saw the memorial for the burned books. It was a hole in the ground between important buildings. It was an all white room with all white, empty bookshelves on all of the walls. It was beautiful and striking.
We finally made it to the Alex Hotel and went to dinner after that. I watched Inglorious Bastards with Jen, Jackie, and Ali for a while. I straightened my hair for the first time in a month. I felt beautiful. We went to bed after we all got tired. Today was big.