Apparently these are all over the place in Germany as well as in Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Norway and Ukraine, however so far I have only seen them in Colgne, not that my knowledge of German is at all extensive, even so it seems a very noble idea in some ways, though I'm not sure that Germans need any more reminders of the Nazis, but it does bring it home to you when you walk down a street and find group of four like this that could have been from the same family and you look at the building it was outside of and it appears to be a residential building that could have been there in the 20s and 30s.
Of course I haven't explained anything so whilst you might have guessed, I haven't really explained what this is about. To be honest I won't do too much of that, I'll let their website do it, but in short they give the last known address of someone who was a victim of the Nazis. The site doesn't explain much more, but in this case I think they al escaped to the USA, needless to say not all of the stones have the same fate.
Straight of the back of the sunny delights of the cold war and all that fun, we headed out today to a concentration camp that was then taken over by the Soviet forces to house political prisoners, so basically a concentration camp. Perhaps I am particularly an unfeeling person, but I didn't get the chills that other people get when visiting these sorts of places, what probably helps is that all the barracks have been torn down, so really all it is is a huge triangular field with watchtowers all around . I think it's a pity that you are unable to go up the watchtower(s) and see what it was like, but there you go.
What was weird was this, the place where autopsies were completed. An altogether pointless task bearing in mind that there were only 7 permitted outcome reasons from an autopsy and bearing in mind that those who completed them, often didn't complete the job at all in the fact that they would cut the body open and sew it up again straight away so it appeared that an autopsy had been performed.Still here is probably where you ended up if you died in the camp.
So it's been a busy day. Up at the crack of dawn because the hotel was on a busy intersection without any soundproofing. I think it was strangely a good thing to happen as we were up and out and were actually at the Brandenburg gates just before 9ish. Let's face it, we're in Berlin for 2 full days, so we'll have to chock it all in.
next up was Checkpoint Charlie. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to see Berlin as a city (in fact I naively thought that I would) but ultimately when you go somewhere like Berlin, there are places you just have to go to. There's no need to come back to work and have someone ask you if you've seen Checkpoint Charlie for you to say... "errr no, we headed for the tractor museum.", which is the wrong answer.
Anyway, the next order of the day was the Topology of Terror. At this point I think I'd seen all of the Berlin Wall history that I needed to know, that added and refreshed by history knowledge from school. Despite this (my disinterest with the wall and everything with it) we then went to the Wall Memorial. This was OK and as you could have guessed I saw the same thing as I saw previously in a different form. I think the most surprising thing was the watchtower as we left the Topology of Terror, I believe it's the last one remaining, but that could be wrong, but it doesn't appear to be as big as you would imaging, but then again I suspect it didn't need to be.
Last thing today was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which was completely by accident. We were going back to the car and happened upon it. It's an impressive memorial, but I'm not 100 percent sure I understand it, though I suspect it t's supposed to look like tombs.Anyway, the picture today is of the memorial. There were a couple of pictures I liked and this is probably the best, but it's a close run thing, the other was of a single monolith itself. Perhaps I'll post it later on when I have time.
When it's Berlin Templehof, which happens to be a park now after it closed on 2008. So today was a little bit of driving from Hamburg to Berlin and when we got to Berlin there was no real need to rush about so we just headed for the old airport which was doubly good because it is right outside our hotel.However a lot of walking around was done before we got into ther airport... who knew that airports were so large. Turns out that the airport building is closed except for certain visiting times but the airfield is open as a park, and as usual with Germans, you can always buy a beer.
I think this is the head of a statue that wss put up at the time of Hitler. I'm only guessing because there were pictures of it being taken down, but I couldn't read the German underneath so I can't be sure. For those who are interested in photography then this also needed a bit of fill in flash, the sky was so overcast that everything would be underdeveloped.
It was a long day today with the plan to go to the Prototype Museum (perhaps I sort of missed the point of the museum because only some of them were prototypes I thought, so it was a car museum). The museum was quite good. Three floors of various cars with no real theme other than the cars were all German. It was quite impressive in a way to get so close to some of the cars though you weren't allowed to touch the cars.I quite liked Michael Schumacher's car from his time at Jordan and I'm not sure why, probably the weird mix of underdog and future world champion.
Next up was as trip to the San Diego. I wasn't sure what to expect from thsi because it was something tha my Wife wanted to go to and she explained it as a cargo ship turned into a museum, which to be honest could be the best thing in the world, but also could just be dull. In the end it turned out she bought tickets for the wrong boat and we ended up on a one hour and twenty minute tour of the dock and surrounding area, which might have been OK if it weren't in German. Still it was OK to bob about in the sun around the docks.
Last up today was Elbe beach that we didn't find, but we did see a Hamburg traffic jam.
So onto the picture, it's a Porche 912. I love the 911 and this seems to be the bread and butter 911 apparently, lots of cheap stuff went into this and yet it has the same impressive look.
Lubeck seems quite nice little village to the north of Hamburg unfortunately I don't think I did it justice in any of my pictures. I saw pictures that I would be nice but when I took the picture they didn't appear to end up that well, I think it was a little overcast as well which didn't help, either that or I'm trying to find an excuse. Anyway after a boat trip and a trip around the puppet museum, the only good picture I have to show is this rather strange puppet from Java, I quite like the picture myself, I wish they all would have turned out this way (in a sense) but no.
It's been a long day what with all the walking, and I wish I could say that I found the real Hamburg, but perhaps that's something that takes time, mind you I might have found the real it's just it wasn't the one I was expecting. Since being here we have seen the town hall, the red light district (near our hotel), the fair ground, lots of docks (nearly leaving by a boat after a wrong turn) and the main park in Hamburg. All pretty impressive, but I was expecting pretty buildings and the like, but so far it's all been a bit utilitarian 60s concrete. That's not to say there haven't been beautiful buildings, the one behind the chocolate museum is impressive (and reminds me of a bourbon biscuit), but it's not something to come to Hamburg in itself. Still we are here for a couple more days so, there's time to get run over by a herd bicycles.
Anyway, just at the North end of the park is this dominating...well not exactly imposing, but you can see it from all over the park, and it's quite impressive. It's a TV tower call the Heinrich-Heinz-Turmand more or less closed to the public in 2005 which is a pity as I was hoping to have a birds eye view of Hamburg.