Berlin is for me a deeply inspiring city. Here is not the sultry, film-like atmosphere of seduction as in Paris.
Also, there are not those adrenaline bumps that Manhattan administers to the visitor. But there is something else that is unique to metropolises. That feels more intense and goes much deeper abend .
Old-fashioned Berliners may be amused by a blue-eyed view of their city, but to my mind, modern Berlin seems to go its way into the future with an optimism and openness that is so rarely found elsewhere. This is not Silicon Valley and also not the money-bombing monster London. It is: a model city. Despite her painful past, she could be a model of how to bring the modern world to life.
Berlin, the city of tragedy, cruelty and suffering, an island that has been an island for decades for decades, hardly ever more closely linked to the rest of the continent as a space station with the earth, now leads Europe into a civilized world , open, generous future. How is it that Berlin is on its way to happiness?
In part, it has to do with this brutal and difficult past. Nowhere in the world are the examples of political ambition, tyranny, oppression, and human error so clearly visible. Anyone walking through the streets of Berlin will be reminded of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, when this city was a center of excellence. Bismarck also spoke of the famous words that Germany should not be the “schoolmaster” in Europe – here you can find everywhere the lessons of history:
Albert Speers’ large, half-timbered buildings in Tempelhof; the bullet holes in the buildings of the Museum Island; the adoring wall fragments; the “Stolpersteine” in memory of murdered Jews. This is the message: Try to rule, and you will suffer. Try to destroy, and you will be destroyed. Try to become the center of the world, and you will find your city fragmented and divided. In this sense, the magnificent Holocaust monument in the center of Berlin is hardly necessary. The streets themselves are memorials of atrocities and catastrophes. Living here sometimes feels like you are swimming in an aquarium of the past.
Other great cities conceal the evils of their history. Berlin shows her with amazing courage. The city “carries its wounds as stars,” as Virginia Woolf already wrote about London, when it was shot by the German air force in 1940. Berlin today gains its wonderful dignity by accepting on a very elementary level a past which must be left behind.
The historical stratification of this city allows you to experience what you remember. For example, my encounter with the young Internet entrepreneur Simon Schäfer, who has opened a “factory” for start-ups on Rheinsberger Strasse. It is not enough for him to look out of his new building over the former course of the Wall. In his office, one of the chandeliers from “Erich’s Lamp-Shop”, the demolished Palace of the Republic, seat of the GDR-Volkskammer, hangs in the heart of the old East Berlin. Thus, not only do past and present intermingle here.
Furious is demonstrated as a chic new apartment house on the banks of the river Spree. It means that a few meters of the wall, which the world 25 years ago wanted to destroy. When Sophia Brandl, a hydrogen-rich beer train from Munich, goes to the “Stadtacker” for gardening, a communal vegetable garden on the former Tempelhof airport, her kohlrabi and potatoes gain additional importance just because they live in Hochbeeten on the former runway for Nazi- Aircraft grow. “There is a good karma here,” says Brandl. “I come and find openness. Peace. I can breathe. Of course, this is a city with many emotional deserts, but there are such oases everywhere. This is a metropolis of possibilities. “