The Bundestag... sort of like the Capitol building in Washington DC

So starting the week before last I took a trip to Berlin to visit a friend I had from my first exchange in Ireland, David, and his girlfriend. I also went, of course, to visit the capital of Germany and hear some history of Germany after the second world war.

They lived in an area of Berlin called “Neuköln” and they lived off of the S-Bahn (like a streetcar) stop called “Sonnenallee.” It is right in the city and in the area where a film called “Sonnenallee” was filmed (I think):

from Google Images

It's a good movie if you get a chance! It's about some youth, about your age, who like rock and roll music, but it's hard to get in East Germany... and it's about life in East Germany. It's cute and funny.

The Sonnenallee stop

Part of the Berlin Wall

A big part of Berlin’s history is the “Berlin Mauer” or the Berlin Wall. After the Second World War Germany was divided into two separate countries, West Germany and East Germany. The Capital of Germany, Berlin, is in the eastern side of Germany, and that was also divided, but West Berlin was completely surrounded by a wall because Eastern Germany surrounded it.

An excellent image found on Google Pics. The DDR surrounding West Berlin is East Germany.

West Berlin was still part of West Germany, which ran under a capitalist economy an East Berlin and East Germany was communist. This was the basic dividing factor. East Germany was allied with other communist states and West Germany was allied with other free-market states. After the Cold war and the fall of communism and the end of the Cold war in the late 80s/early 90s the wall was knocked down and Germany was reunited. Thats the short version of it, but I’m sure you guys are more interested in the pictures for now! There is tons of “Mauer Kunst” or art on the old Berlin Wall…

The Wall at Potsdamer Platz

The Wall at Potsdamer Platz

You can find bits of the wall all over Berlin

The Mauer Park... a monument to the wall with a metal relief-map of the area

In Berlin there is also a “Judisches Denkmal” or a Jewish memorial to honor all of the Jewish people who died during World War II. It was quite moving:

Well, and that’s enough of Berlin for now. I visited more, but I’m finding it difficult to sum up in one post!!! I’ll write more as the week continues!!