Berlin – story

There is no other city like Berlin in Germany either, or probably around the world. For over a century, the political climate here has reflected or determined this, what was happening in the rest of Europe. Berlin being successively the main center of the Kingdom of Prussia, the economic and cultural capital of the Weimar Republic and the seat of Hitler's Third Reich, served as a direction indicator, which the history of Europe has chosen.

About the fate of the city in the years 1945-1990 The Second World War, of course, was decisive. One seventh of all buildings in Germany, which were destroyed during the war, was located in Berlin. Allied and Soviet aviation razed to the ground 92 % all stores, houses and industrial plants. After the end of the war, the city was divided into four zones: French, American, British and Soviet. In line with the provisions of the Yalta Conference: the allies took the western part of the city, which has traditionally been the seat of bars, hotels and shops around Kurfurstendamm and Tiergarten Park. In the Soviet zone, there were remains of magnificent office buildings, churches and museums around Unter den Linden. After erecting in 1961 the year of the Berlin Wall, which separated the Soviet zone and made it possible to grant it the status of the capital of the German Democratic Republic, which had not been established much earlier, the development of these two areas of the city followed different paths. The authorities of the western part pursued a policy of demolition and reconstruction: in the east, whatever it could be, was restored at any cost and some of the 19th century buildings were preserved, that once gave the city splendor. Former indicator, greatness is a fact, that even today, after such extensive damage, there are enough historical buildings here, to write a guide about them.

Although it is impossible to understand Berlin without some historical knowledge, however, it is not difficult to have fun there. The lively mentality of the inhabitants of the former West Berlin combined with tact, that whole hosts of young people were coming here, or to avoid military service (which was compulsory in the rest of Germany), or for that, to plunge into an alternative subculture, has led to a lively nightlife and a lively atmosphere that continues to prevail in the streets. War memorabilia are ubiquitous and even if you would like to overlook them, they will inevitably accompany your wanderings in this city.

The federal government has always put enormous sums of money into developing this city. Grants for culture amounted to in 1987 more than the entire US federal budget allocated to it. A similar phenomenon was observed in the GDR, where the government has spent large sums of money, to make East Berlin the Hauptstadt der DDR showcase at the expense of other cities and regions. Facts, numbers, economic and historical data cannot reflect the character of this city and if you want to understand it at least a little, you have to see it with your own eyes.

Today, both parts of Berlin form one city again. You can move around it without restrictions, like in any other European city. (The wall hardly exists, and there, where it was not demolished, it is a testimony to history, and material for souvenirs for tourists). However, it is worth remembering, that it wasn't always like that. The Wall Museum near the former Charlie border crossing continues to document the attempts at crossing the wall.

Just like communism in this part of Europe, East Germany has disappeared. However, not without a trace - heritage 40 years cannot be discarded, reality cannot be changed like by magic overnight. Nothing like this happened on the night of 2 on 3 October 1990 year. Although it was certainly an extraordinary event, which for many Germans, and probably not only Germans, was a too daring dream for many years.

The eastern part of Berlin and Germany has to come to terms with capitalism and the culture of the West for some time to come, from which the GDR was cut off. Before, however, both parts of the country are completely fused with each other and with Europe, tourists coming to Berlin (and the eastern part of Germany) they will see the differences that exist. Maybe not so much in the wealth of shops and the general level of wealth, what in the different mentality of former East German citizens.