In 1979, this front wall of a church in West Berlin was all that remained after the bombings of World War II.
When I researched this location, I didn’t find anything about this site. The location, as best as I can see from zooming in, is at the corners of “Streseinannstrake” and “Schoneberger Stalge” streets. My spelling may be off a bit. According to Google, many of the bombed out buildings and churches have either been restored or removed. When I saw it in 1979, it was the first time I had ever seen anything that had been bombed. In fact, it is the only time.
Of course, we also saw the Berlin Wall.
Our Berlin tour guide was an older woman who could easily remember the wall being built. It took just two weeks. She pointed out that not only did it divide the city, but it also divided families. We saw the older man, in the picture above, hitting the wall with a cane. Our tour guide said the man came to the wall every day and did the same thing. His daughter and her family were on the other side. I will forever wonder if this man was reunited with his daughter when the wall came down ten years later in 1989.
I also had never seen cut glass on the top of a wall. Nor had I seen towers with armed guards watching a civilian area, so that people could not escape. Even with the barbed wire, glass and armed guards, some people did try to escape. According to Google, between 1961 and 1989, at least 140 people died in some way while trying to cross the wall.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember the exact itinerary of our schedule. At some point during our travels in Germany, we visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. To my shame, I cannot remember its name. I only took two pictures. It was just too sad, too horrific. How can anyone say this didn’t happen?
In such challenging times, many look to the divine for strength to carry on. The view below is looking into East Germany and includes some kind of tower with a ball near the top. Our guide pointed out the shining cross on the ball and said this unplanned appearance of a shining cross angered the communistists.
Perhaps, it gave others hope.
Next: Going behind the Iron Curtain
Note: The structure in the feature photo is not the front of a church. Rather, it is the Anhalter Bahnhof, an important and significant piece of Berlin’s history. Please read the follow up post for more information.