The Berlin wall

Berlin wall is marked in tourist maps and in East Side Gallery you can see 1.2 km long cement wall which is decorated by paintings. This wall was painted by 151 artists from all over the world when Germany united 1990. This part of the wall in former East Berlin near Schlesischer Tor old town gate where is also metro station.

Painting in Berlin wall

Brezhnev and Honecker: brotherly kiss between Soviet Union and DDR.

Wall has been also mental barrier and atmosphere in Berlin has been different in different times too .Destruction of the city after war horrible and it was shortage of everything even trees in Tierparken were cut for firewood. City was divided to zones and was governed by winners of the war. In the end it was east and west. The socialist block led by Soviet Union in East-Berlin and western “free” capitalist world led by USA.

Many Europeans were pleased with divided Germany because of it kept the strong and destructively expansive nation weak. Germans did cruel things in war and they were hated and despised.

Honecker had to build the wall in 1961 because too many people were escaping to West. Wall of course did not prevent East-Berlin people watching news of western world, freedom and consumer wares.

East Berlin: socialism

In DDR museum by the Spree-river you can get information about daily life in the state. There was shortage of many wares, no freedom of speech. DDR was a police state where amount of spies per inhabitant was much higher than in Soviet Union or Nazi-German. On the other hand the standard of living was much better in DDR than in many socialist countries, to where citizens of DDR could travel.

People in DDR lived often in divided worlds they had public ego obedient to state and private ego for friends and parties and at least some people could lead comfortable life.

West-Berlin

West-Berlin was free city which gathered creative bohemians to the city. It was generously supported by USA and after all West-Germany was part of NATO and Hansaviertel and buildings around Europaplatz   are reflecting the values of the growing new Western German values and wirtschaftswunder.

Part of the pits and, shopping centers deserts spaces around squares are reminding one about Leonard Cohen’s song “First we take Manhattan. Then we go Berlin”. Some bums may have deliberately placed themselves near tourist hot-spot centers in town. But actually there are some places with bad reputation for example Kottbusser Torg in Kreuzberg.