It is probably save to say that I never have come to terms with that part of my life; and it is not likely that I ever will.
This statement was made by myself after my first visit to Berlin in 2006 with Patricia and is part of the introduction to this story. It refers to the memories of the war and the immediate post war period, which are burned into my mind. That first visit was after a long time of not wanting to face the city I had only known as a vast pile of rubble and later as a divided flash point during the cold war. I had not yet seen a re-unified strong Germany, part of the European Union.
I wanted to go and find some answers to still burning question, that had eluded me all my life. I wanted to see those places that had been part of my youth and explore. I wanted to do so with my wife and try to let her be part of that stage of my life; and most of all make her understand why this is so important to me.
Berlin has always been a bit different from the rest of the country; it is more liberal, easygoing and socially diverse than any other major city in Germany. Since reunification it has regained its central role as the major capital of the continent. The integration of what used to be the East is still continuing. Vast areas of useless structures built under an incompetent communist regime have been razed and rebuilt with glittering skyscrapers, modern housing and transportation systems.
There is an old saying "If you are a Berliner, you will always be one". There is a magic that draws one back, again and again. There is still much to be seen and done.
That process is still ongoing.
On Top Of Germany - The Zugspitze