Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marlene Dietrich: I still have a Suitcase in Berlin...

A long planned vacation trip to Dresden and Berlin (Germany) finally came true. Upon returning home, my very patient friends had to sit through supper invitations listening to my excited monologues on how wonderful, interesting and enriching this trip was. It coincided with my birthday, celebrated by a rare family get-together (family members spread across three European countries) and it was in many ways a trip back into history as it unfolded during my lifetime. I remember the day the Berlin Wall was started being built, the news were on the radio non-stop. I vividly remember the day and days the Wall came down again after almost 30 years, and people from the East and West were streaming towards each other at the Brandenburg Gate. Standing right under the Brandenburg Gate was an elevating experience!

We were strolling along many famous streets and admired the architecture old and new, we walked up into the dome of the Reichstag and spent time in sidewalk cafés watching the world go by. Listen to Marlene Dietrich's famous song "Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin" (I still have a suitcase in Berlin...) comes to mind, as well as its later rendition by Hildegard Knef. We are remembering those famous artists who lived in Berlin before WW2 and lost their home and life in the most terrible way. Thousands of Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) in German cities remind the passer-by of the people who sadly and tragically vanished about 60-70 years ago under the Hitler regime. Although I wonder whether one asked the descendants of those people whether they would not rather have had a different style of memorial for their lost ones, perhaps a stele, instead of cobblestones in the sidewalk, (again) being trodden on...

These days, the city of Berlin is a global city - again -full of history and the true capital of Germany, signposting the future and forward-looking, a city witnessing the most tragic events and the most wonderful ones. Certainly a place to visit again, and again...just leave that suitcase in Berlin...
(Also see the post about Paul Klee in the Museum Heinz Berggruen)

1 comment:

Double Jointed Fingers said...

How wonderful! So very glad you finally got the visit that beautiful city. What a magical year you are having.

Cyn