Sunday – Day 31 – Part A

August 21, 2012

Today’s post is separated into two parts. Not for reasons of length, but to separate the content.

Today I confronted the darker side of Germany’s history, visiting again the Holocaust Memorial but, this time also going into the Holocaust Museum Memorial underneath.

For the entire duration of my trip to Germany there was this shade hanging quietly behind in the back of my mind. No amount of rationalizing that Germany today is different from that of the third Reich is sufficient to create an equivalent barrier in my perception of the country.

Koen mentioned to me that as he was feeling the tendrils of the evil left behind that I must be even more so affected. And, indeed I was.

I won’t go into depth on the details of the memorial, but as I stood silently in front of the following sign, I felt paralyzed by the realization that the horrors were no longer in some far off European city but, carved in barely faded blood onto the stones on which I was walking.

Yehi zichrum baruch.

Day 30 – Shabbat

Today’s photos are for good reason, not all supplied by me, thus credit where due. As per most Shabbatot that I’m away, the day was mostly spent walking around.

Koen and I visited the TV tower at Alexanderplatz and also the Pergamon Museum, two touristic features of Berlin.

The TV Tower

Later in the evening we returned to Theresa’s apartment where we met with her boyfriend Lucas and a friend of his to head out to a late night movie.

Statue of Victory at the Pergamon




The cinematheque¬†to which we were taken was located in what I could only describe as the ‘indie’ part of town. The narrow streets were filled with crowded outdoor bars and the sound of many languages could be heard following faster than the drinks. Street art lined the walls and a cobblestone pathway drew us ever deeper through the winding alleys. ¬†Finally we came upon the theatre, within which were posters from the numerous films screening, none of which I had heard of.

It was explained to me that the cinema only showed films after they had been strictly vetted by staff to ensure their quality, and tonight’s film “We Have to Talk About Kevin” was no exception. Nominated for Best Feature Film at the Cannes Film Festival last year, ‘Kevin’ is a psychological thriller, directed by twenty two year old first timer Lynne Ramsay. The film was most enjoyable but struck home on an emotional level in relation to issues concerning mental health, the relationship between parent and child, and the long lasting effects on parents when their offspring go awry.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney