Let me tell you, seeing is believing.
Personally, I have heard of the Holocaust many times. As well as the tales of horror that go along with it. Yet until I visited Sachsenhausen it only seemed to be a country’s haunting history. I saw beds that were only meant for half a person that were forced to be shared by three. I saw places of massacre. I saw a triangle that forced humans to act as slaves. I saw inside the Holocaust. And soon I not only saw but I felt the pain that they must have felt.
It really kept me thinking and I’m glad that they kept these camps around. It’s important to remember the past whether it is pristine or rather unpleasant. Along this trip I have learned and grown and saw things that made me think. I came into it with a biased mindset but was soon to realize that Germany has imperfections and a history. Although. instead of shaping the country, it adds to the depth and culture Berlin and Germany holds.
I have an unhealthy fascination with anything painted, etched, sketched, or created with art products. Therefore, a street art tour pretty much is my cherry on top of the Berlin cake. After we visited the Ministry of Education and tour the Hauptbahnhof train station, we met up with Kurtis who led our art excursion. He takes us to Warschauer Station and we arrived in the same locale where we saw the concert. He spoke of the 3 types of graffiti and the respect artists have for one another. As well as the secrecy and logistics that come with an artist’s name. I wish this tour was drawn out longer although the small section of concrete we saw was enough to put me in awe.
The tour was over but the fun has just begun. We made stencils and then were free to create and experiment with the paints. As an artist, I instantly fell into my groove and thoroughly enjoyed creating my picture. Hypothetically speaking I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw new pieces around the Boulder area in the future.
The jet lag was the first to welcome me into Berlin. It was telling me to fall asleep. Unfortunately, it was only 12 in the afternoon. Although technically that would be 4 in the morning back in Colorado. Against all odds, I overcame this justified exhaustion and managed to enjoy my first glimpse of the Berlin night life.
I exited the tram to a view of rustic railways and distinguished street art. We were headed to the Astra Club to see Mac Miller. Once we arrived, after getting lost of course, we were almost initially approached by a man selling tickets. He proclaimed that, “the tickets are sold out everywhere” but he’d be happy to sell us his slightly overpriced bunch. Luckily Jacob was there to shut him down just enough times for him to lower the price just below market. That was the beginning of the night. The rest was filled with a make shift biergarten, overpriced beverages, and Mac Miller of course. Throughout this experience we met multiple Germans who spoke English, they were kind spirits who were more than willing to share their stories.
My first impression upheld my highest expectations. (Including the chance we’d get pick pocketed because we’re American. Sorry Catherine!)
When I initially think of Germany my mind turns to harsh connotations. Although as I prepare to travel there I find that Germany is so much more than it’s past. There is history, culture, and passion running through the streets. The only thing that could make this trip even more fulfilling would be if I could speak German. I don’t get very nervous when I travel but a language barrier is something that can be a challenge. Although hopefully with the help of the tour guides and the staff it will make going to museums and strolling the streets much easier. Also when anyone travels to a different country it’s hard to know what to expect. I could imagine the hearty beer and the loud yet friendly people welcoming us. Although until I get there it will all just be an idea.