Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010: Checkpoint Charlie and Communication

(Dieter)Our last full day in Berlin, we dash down for breakfast, swallow our food, buy the Berlin Pass and head for the Communication Museum. From the old tin can telephones to the spherical cushioned high-fi seats with the first true surround sound technology, we had a wonderful experience learning about communication. The most profound exhibit demonstrated the power of communications in warfare, beginning with the significance of the drum, bugle and the masked flag – each powerful in the early wars of the 1800’s. With each era, we discovered the power of media in portraying the “successes” of wars. The most recent – the media of war lies, including the so called “smart bombs” which were “documented” by media as destroying the enemy with pin-point accuracy and the biased perspectives that were broadcast on news networks worldwide during the last wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A little emotional relief, we also enjoyed playing football with the highly trained computers. Next, we received a valuable education at the Jewish Museum, following the lives of Jewish people and their hardships over the many years in Europe to their successful stories of today. Although educational, we were reminded of the many other ethnic groups that have similar horror stories, but have not been publically portrayed including the Mennonites, Gypsies, ethnic cleansing of so many other nations… A quick trip back to our dwelling for a wonderful supper and off to our last stop, the Mauer Museum (Checkpoint Charlie Wall Museum). Amazing stories of escape (no photos allowed), from hiding people in VW’s to tunneling, to hot air balloons, most bringing stories of accomplishments. Dr. Rainer Hilderbrandt, the founder of this museum, spent years prior assisting and documenting many of the escapes and using these to help others make the dangerous journey from the east to the west.

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