Reborn Berlin Refuses to Bury Its Dark History; Jon Griffin Visits Germany's Cosmopolitan and Vibrant Capital - a Rival for London and Paris

The Birmingham Post (England), September 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Reborn Berlin Refuses to Bury Its Dark History; Jon Griffin Visits Germany's Cosmopolitan and Vibrant Capital - a Rival for London and Paris


The great cities of the world are, by their distinctive nature, a pretty exclusive bunch. It's an entirely subjective choice, of course, but certain names spring automatically to mind...

London, no question. Ditto New York and maybe Chicago... Paris and Rome undoubtedly... and to that rarefied list I would add Berlin.

The German capital may not boast Big Ben, the Champs Elysee, Times Square or the Colosseum, but its relatively recent history is perhaps as dramatic as any other location on the planet.

If you stroll around this city of 3.5 million people for an hour or so, you can't fail to reflect on events that shaped the course of history in Europe just a few decades ago. Berlin boasts an aura quite unlike any other spot on earth - and is quite possibly the ultimate example of a city's ability to reinvent itself after staring ruin and tragedy in the face.

It's now more than 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany - and nearly 70 years since the Red Army's march on Hitler's nerve centre brought history's bloodiest conflict, the Second World War, to an end after nearly six shattering years and tens of millions of deaths.

Notwithstanding the tragic backdrop, the Berlin of today is a young, dynamic and cosmopolitan city at the heart of Europe. It's a thriving, multi-cultural centre, a city which dragged itself up from its knees to carve its own unique niche in the modern world.

'Something for everyone' may be a tired, overused cliche - but it's as true of Berlin as of anywhere on earth, and probably explains why the city is now the third most popular destination in Europe after London and Paris.

A three-day tour provided a compelling insight into the varied delights of this extraordinary place, from the clean modernity of Potsdamer Platz in the city centre to the bohemian nightlife of the Kreuzberg district and the tranquil landscape of the Greater Wannsee Lake.

Potsdamer Platz bears impressive testament to Berlin's capacity to move with the times into the 21st century, with its impressive array of modern architecture, glossy shopping malls, cinemas and bars.

But Berlin is a city of contrasts, and Kreuzberg is as contrasting as it gets. The area is a sort of New York Greenwich Village/Woodstock-style commune quarter transplanted into a 'shabby chic' European setting. The publicity blurb said: "From the bohemian trendy scene of Kreuzberg's Media Spree to the Mitte District's latest hotspots, you will witness the weird and wonderful, the glamorous and grotesque.

It will bring you face to face with street art, funky local characters, the city's newest scene and atmospheric locations way beyond the tourist trail." Quite so.

A walking tour of Kreuzberg on a balmy summer's Friday evening was across between a night at a 1960s hippie rock festival and a front-row seat at a travelling circus. Graffiti-strewn walls, bohemianstyle bars with their own beachfronts, restaurants of varied culinary provenance... Kreuzberg is certainly different. A further contrast was Wannsee, in the far southwest of the city, a beautiful waterside location surrounded by lakes and rivers. The River Havel flows around it to the north and west, and there are extensive parklands to soak up the rural splendour, while an alfresco lunch at the Loretta am Wannsee beer garden/restaurant provided an enjoyable bonus.

There are restaurants to cater for every taste in this most cosmopolitan of cities. A personal favourite was Chen Che, a Vietnamese diner in the city's Rosenthaler Strasse, with seafood dishes to die for. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Reborn Berlin Refuses to Bury Its Dark History; Jon Griffin Visits Germany's Cosmopolitan and Vibrant Capital - a Rival for London and Paris
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.