My madcap adventures in Germany during my year as a Fulbright Scholar.

14 November 2006

Only Berlin

Berlin is a city like no other.

Today at the Brandenburger Tor I saw a man riding on a wheeled sled pulled by a team of six huskies.

No one else was even remotely fazed by this rather anachronistic figure.

Without realizing it I've become inured to the general craziness of Berliners, as well. I didn't even deem the dogsled riding through the Tiergarten worth the hassle of digging out the camera to take a picture. Very few things make my jaw drop anymore.

This, however, absolutely blows my mind:

Yes, that's the Berlin wall... running right through a cemetery.

This is the Invalidenfriedhof, and it's one of my favorite places in the city.

It's just mind-boggling to contemplate: a cemetery lies right on the border between East Germany and West Germany, and the only solution the authorities can think of is to "liquidate" any and all graves located in the "death strip." (Ironic choice of words, eh?).

The family of Captain Manfred von Richtofen (The Red Baron) was allowed to move his grave, but most were simply destroyed. Records indicate there were more than 3000 graves at the Invalidenfriedhof in 1960. Today there are 230. (Although creepily enough, anywhere from 18,000 to 30,000 burials have taken place there since 1748.)

This is a good view of how much of the cemetery was cleared to make way for the Wall:



Blogger pat said...

I love your blog....

11:50 PM


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