Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday October 28-Day 8

           This morning started with some more fun WWII stuff. We went to a flak tower and viewed the city while we waited for our appointment for a tour through a real life bunker used in the war. Brother Minert used his legit German connections to get us a tour before the regular tourist hours.
View from Flak Tower
            We went through basically all the rooms they had down there and it wasn’t huge considering all the people they had to fit down there. Our guide pointed out the signs on the wall conveying the number of persons that should be assigned to each room. Then he told us that each room usually ended up with twice as many people as the number on the wall.

There were also a couple rooms with phosphorous or something put into the paint so that there would still be a little light for a bit if the power went out. This was pretty expensive so it was mainly used in rooms like the Hospital room.
We weren’t down there for very long and I got kind of sick of being underground in this cold dark place made of cement. I cannot even imagine being confined in there for possibly hours at a time, squeezed in with a bunch of people while bombs went off above your head. That would be a pretty uncomfortable experience in the very least. Throw in a couple terrified, crying children and the possibility of being trapped and dying of suffocation and you have my worst nightmare. I sincerely feel terrible that these people had to go through that.

After the bunker we had free time until the afternoon when we would board the bus and leave Berlin. We were dropped off on Museum Island so a few of us went together to the Pergamon museum. For those of you who don’t know this is a building with smaller, more ancient, buildings inside of it. The main one is an old Roman one which I believe is the temple of Zeus. Rebecca, One of the girls I was with in the museum, has been to Turkey and says when you get to the mountain where this building used to be it’s like, “Oh, now I have to go to Berlin to see it. Nice.” But she completed the journey! Congratulations Rebecca Marie.

There was some other great stuff that the museum’s website describes as “Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art”. Museums have a lot of really great stuff, but I feel like I’m starting to get a little museumed out.
Some famous blue arch?
So instead of going to another museum after that we took some pictures by the Berliner Dom and a library that still has empty shelves from all the book burnings that went on around here. Then of course we browsed the souvenir shops and I bought a nice winter hat that says Berlin really teeny tiny on the side. But it says it! Also, I bought the most beautiful book in the world called Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen. Yep. best purchase ever.

HP auf Deutsch gekauft!
Eventually our wonderful free time in Berlin came to an end even though I felt it was much to soon and we all got on the bus again. Since our journey took us so close to the Polish border, we decided we’d better stop there for a bit so that we could add one more country to our list his trip! The part we were in actually used to be German territory but Stalin gave it to Poland to make for some of the land he stole from them. So there ya go.
Of course Brother Minert had a couple religious anecdotes to share with us while we were there. One was about little children who lived in this area during the war who barely had anything nice to eat. They prayed to Heavenly Father for some chocolate and their older brother actually found some in a plundered shop on his way home. What a miracle. Another was about a couple German girls who were told by German soldiers to get across the river because they were blowing up the bridge so the Soviets couldn’t follow them. Them got across then realized they left their precious family accordion behind. One of the girls ran back to get it while her family prayed she would make it back in time and she barely made it!
            That night we ended up in a little City at a cute hotel where we ate some schnitzel for dinner and went to bed in comfy, well-decorated rooms.


  1. And I thought you went to Austria to learn German but really, it was to track down European Harry Potter memorabilia! ;)