Once again the capital of a unified Germany, the new Berlin is still very much a work in progress. The Pearl on the River Spree still bears scars from the devastation of the Second World War, and from nearly 40 years of division brought about by the Cold War and the construction of the Berlin Wall. These scars still mar both the physical and mental landscapes of the city.
With the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (a.k.a. East Germany, Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or DDR) and reunification with the West, the two halves of Berlin were once again whole and the city began a long and difficult healing process, which still continues.
Today, Berlin struggles to embrace it’s turbulent past while preparing itself for a promising and exciting future as one of the central cities of the European Union.
For anyone with even a passing interest in “the other Germany,” as the DDR was often referred to, visiting the former East Berlin can offer a glimpse of what life might have been like behind the Berlin Wall.
While Berliners may have felt a collective sigh of relief at the end of the Second World War, their suffering and angst was far from over. In the years following the end of the war the tensions between the East and West grew, culminating in 1961 with the construction of the Berlin Wall.
Today, some of the most interesting historical sites in Berlin have ties to the Communist era of the DDR. While the spotlight is often taken by places like Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburg Gate, I’d like to focus on some less frequented sites. READ MORE
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