Friday, August 14, 2009

from Potsdam August 14, 2009

The last week has arrived and I am actually ready to go home. Realizing home is home is a good thing. Had a few days doing nothing but then picked myself up. Reading a lot, watching TV - lot of political shows. the Talk Shows here are much more intense than in the US. Mostly women hosts don't let politicians get away with shit.
I haven't met too many people, one woman from Munich turned out to be unbarable. We went on an excursion together to Werder by boat but she talked non-stop to me and every person nearby. So I decided she is not a match for me.
Instead I went again to Berlin to see Dr. Doris Habermann, a business owner and a VERY interesting lady. Runs a big consulting firm, was a single mother, move her office from West to East Berlin, lots of insights politically etc. Time with her just flew by and I barely caught the last train. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Berlin Wall August 13, 1961. She took me to a photo exhibit in Kreuzberg where they showed pictures taken from the Eastern side by the East German Army. In the speeches there was nothing bad about that time, no comment "this shouldn't have happened or we need to prevent" - I commented this to Doris and she said, they wouldn't say stuff like that because 80% around us are former Stasi people who are still in city government roles and they would use this against you. Very interesting and scary.

I also have to say that I have learned so much about German history and it is hard to say but there was no difference between the Nazi political scene and interogation mechanisms and then the DDR, those Nazis who didn't make it to South America ended up at the Stasi or commanders in the Volksarmee and Volkspolizei...
Doris took me to a place called "Oststrand" , a 300 yard long sandy beach (sand brought from the Baltic beaches) right on a remaining part of the wall and righ on the river Spree. Strange feeling to sit right beneath this 3.5 m high monster, having a drink and watching people and little boats pass by where after 1961 people trying to escape were shot point blank by sharp shooters.

The neighborhoods in former East Berlin are vibrant and people are out and about well after midnight - even during the week. This is very different to Potsdam, of course....
My final days have arrived and today I see my niece and her little girls for ice creat and some great auntie time, tomorrow is Schloessernacht one of the social and cultural high lights of the year. I will go with my friend Anette. Just talked to her and she was very sad. They had to put their cat down. I can understand her sadness as a cat owner. She also is facing her very difficult own medical risk operation.
On Sunday i will go back to Luebeck for a few days and then back home.
See you all very soon.

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