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Visiting the Leipziger Platz, Berlin, Germany: Pause for thought, but looking forward
A sense of Berliners moving forward with their business
Since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the two parts of the City of Berlin were brought together at the Unification of the two Germanies in 1990, massive building works have been accomplished in the city, which has once more become the Capital of Germany.
Recent construction works are as in evidence at the strikingly octagonal Leipziger Platz as anywhere in this fine and historic city. I visited the Platz , with many thoughts within me, although the absence of historical commemoration was both noted and welcome.
This is because the Leipziger Platz, approximately between Leipzigerstrasse and Vossstrasse, was the former location of Hitler's Bunker, where, in the final days of the Third Reich, he ruled what was left of his grim régime and where he took his life.
There is nothing visible to recall the former presence of this structure, with its grisly associations (and rightly so would be my personal commentary). Precisely because there is nothing worthwhile to commemorate.
Interestingly, after Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, died in Berlin's Spandau Prison in 1987, the authorities demolished the prison and a retail centre was built on its site. In other words, there was nothing worth remembering about the site where Hess and other, convicted war criminals were held. It is my wish as far as possible for these travel hubpages to be factual, but in many cases far from nostalgic or even commemorative. When it comes to sites particularly associated with the victims (as opposed to the perpetrators) of inhumanity, there is certainly scope for constructive, historical commemoration, however. Indeed, some of these hubpages reflect such thinking; I have linked, below, some of my hubpages with writings which specifically commemorate the victims of fascism.
But now, for the visitor to Berlin, Leipziger Platz is a place which exudes a sense of Berliners moving forward with their business. An octagonal, greened area, created at Leipziger Platz, is shown to good effect from an aerial view, which I have supplied.
October 3, 2012
Also worth seeing
In Berlin itself, a few of the many visitor attractions include: the Brandenburg Gate; the Reichstag building; the Fernsehturm (TV Tower); Charlottenburg Palace (German: Schloss Charlottenburg ); Berlin Cathedral (German: Berliner Dom ) and many others.
How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Berlin Tegel Airport (Flughafen Berlin-Tegel ), where car rental is available. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting the Reichstag, Berlin: the history of Germany, past and future
- Visiting the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany: complex memories
- Visiting 17 June Street and the Victory Column, Berlin, Germany: the nuanced nature of commemoration
- Visiting Cinqfontaines, Luxembourg: remembering World War Two inhumanity in the Grand Duchy
- Visiting Natzwiller, France: sober remembrance of World War Two inhumanity