Peter and I headed into Berlin late this morning, initially to have a look around. We planned to visit the Reichstag and to go up into the dome above the parliament chambers, but the dome was closed to the public so we gave up on that idea. On my several visits to Berlin, including when I myself lived in Potsdam as a student in 1992, I have only been in the Reichstag once, and that was during the building’s refurbishment, before the seat of government returned to the Reichstag.
We grabbed some lunch and then caught the U-Bahn to Potsdamer Platz on a quest to visit the former Fuehrerbunker, where one of history’s biggest tits and the man who tainted German history finally did the decent thing (a few years too late) and shot himself. I have a need to visit places of historic significance; to stand on the ground where key events in our history (good and bad) happened. There are mixed feelings over marking the Fuehrerbunker, out of fears that it could become a shrine to right-wing extremists, but the authorities relented in the last few years by marking the spot with a plain information sign. The bunker itself is inaccessible and buried beneath a residential block’s car park and childen’s playground in the middle of Berlin, which is probably as fitting an end as it deserves. Nevertheless, it is a place of great historical significance, as the events that happened there ultimately hastened the end of WW2.
Next, we headed to Friedrichstrasse, where Peter had some employment-related business to attend to. I wandered down the road, almost decided to go around the Checkpoint Charlie museum (another place I haven’t visited), before I decided that it needed a longer time period than I had to do it justice, so I went for a walk around the area, before grabbing a coffee at Starbuck’s.
Peter’s business concluded, we returned to Potsdam.