Berlin has not forgotten it's history. Wherever you go in the city you are steeped in history.
From the houses of worship such as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche and....
...and the Synagoge Oranienburger Straße
Then there are places we have all heard about...Checkpoint Charlie and The Brandenburg Gate that was so prominent in the news 20 years ago when the wall came down.
There are bricks embedded into the pavement and road that mask where the wall used to be...now one is able to walk or drive freely, on either side of, and over those bricks.
There are also museums and memorials in remembrance of the Holocaust victims.
Mette our Daughter-in-law took us to this one, The Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe. It was a profoundly emotional experience to walk among the concrete slabs...getting disoriented, in what seems to be an orderly pattern, as you walk into deeper and deeper into the Memorial.
However, to me, what was the most profound memorials of all, were the Stolpersteine Stumbling blocks/stones, by the artist Gunter Demnig. The small 4x4 inches Stumbling blocks are made of concrete cube covered with a sheet of brass on which Gunther Demnig adds the writing “Hier wohnte” (Here lived), the name, year of birth and the fate of the person whose stone it is...such as the date of deportation and of death. These stones are put down flush in the pavement/sidewalk in front of the last residence of the victim.
The Stolpersteine moved me to tears. I thought of the tears that were shed both outwardly and inwardly on the spot where we were standing. I thought of the fear and confusion of the victims...and the inhumanity of it all.
As we walked along the Berlin streets happy to be together, laughing, talking and generally reveling in the pleasure of being together...we would come up to a Stolpersteine.
We would stop and quietly show our respect and honor each victim by reading their name and other information on their Stolpersteine.