Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 3 EP365

Day 14 October 16, 2009

Day 15 October 17, 2009
Almost a Religious Experience

Day 16 October 18, 2009
Sunday Breakfast

Day 17 October 19, 2009
Chilly Morning

Day 18 October 20, 2009
This Knitter's Stash

Day 19 October 21, 2009
Mary Beck

Day 20 October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Berlin Day 5

Winding up our stay in Berlin, there were a few places we wanted to Wednesday, after breakfast

we were off to see the Jewish Museum.

I must admit, this was not the first place I would have gone to visit, but I am so very glad I did. It has an incredible amount of displays, and the architecture of the building itself is a wonderment.

Constant angles lead you to explore various hallways.

The garden is purposely arranged to make you uncomfortable with its off center planters (yes, the humans are standing straight up).

Once outside, we saw more and more smartcars...I especially like this paint job!!!

And this parking job

Walking to lunch we discovered the most interesting objects...

Looking down from the sidewalk...we spy a brass brain on the street!

I wish I knew more about this!!!!***


After lunch, we headed back to the Memorial to the Dead Jews of Europe to tour their museum below the blocks

saw more smartcars

and then 4 of us went in search of a special shoe for Alix.

3 hours, and lots and LOTS of walking up and down Ku'damm, we FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY found the turquoise-low-tread-high-top-canvas-Converses she had been craving since seeing them first in Copenhagen. Her reaction says it all.

*** I finally found out what the brain "thingy" is!!!

The 3 SEC Bronze Brain

The Einstein Tower (German: Einsteinturm) is an astrophysical observatory in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam, Germany

A few meters in front of the stairs to the Einstein Tower and set into the pavement of the forecourt is a fist-sized art object, a bronze reproduction of a human brain highly reduced in size, its shiny surface a sign of wear, inscribed with the four characters, 3 SEC. It was created by the Berlin artist Volker März, who placed it here and in an identical form in front of the Neurological Institute of the Charité in Berlin. The small sculpture refers to a scientific thesis of Ernst Pöppel according to which “the experience of continuity is based on an illusion. Continuity arises through the networking of contents, which in each case are represented in a time window of three seconds. We reconstruct temporal continuity based on what is represented in the individual islands of consciousness.” (translation) Taking up this idea, März titled his work “the 3 SEC Bronze Brain – Admonition to the Now – Monument to the continuous present.” (translation).

Berlin Day 4-- Sachsenhausen

In America, it's not so easy to be close to recent history as it is in Europe. I felt it was important for the kids to learn a bit, so we headed out to spend the day at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial.

We caught the tour at the Zoo, which began with a train ride out to Oranienburg. We were lucky enough to change trains at the beautiful new Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

I love the angles of this space!

It was a pleasant ride out

Our guide, Jakov, had advised us to pick up sandwiches before we began, and it was a wise idea. We waited for a few minutes

taking Jakov's advice to sit whenever possible.

After a pleasant 20-minutes walk through the charming town, we arrived.

Jakov was an amazing guide, patiently, yet passionately explaining the history of Sachsenhausen.

Ruins of the Officer's Club

The front gates

Perhaps it was our guide's age, but he drew our kids in- the were totally "into" the whole trip.

Morning Roll call area

Markers are placed where each barracks stood.

Two barracks have been reconstructed

Inside as well as out.

Walls and guard towers are always present.

The prison within a prison.

In the distance is the Soviet Liberation Memorial, erected in 1961.

Down in the celler of the kitchen, talented artists used the walls to draw cartoons when they had the chance

Sachsenhausen was never an extermination camp, in the sense of Auschwitz, but executions were carried out here by firing squad.

But sadly, it is estimated that over 100,000 inmates did die in Sachsenhausen. The remains are buried in mass graves marked like this.

And, sadly, experiments in mass gassing did occur at Sachsenhausen, and remains of these facilities and the crematoria can be seen in a special area that was called "Station Z"

And, yes, medical experiments were also conducted on inmates in the medical wing.

It was quite a moving and reflective tour, and, if you ever get a chance to visit, do so.

Back in modern Berlin, we were glad to have a traditional German dinner that evening.

I don't think AJ expected such a big eisbein!!!

I can never pass up a schnitzel...

nor Grumpy Guy his wurst!