Postcard from... Berlin
November is a difficult month for Germany.
It hosts the anniversaries of two crucial events which fate has decided should fall on the same day. On 9 November 1989, it was the momentous day of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet the same November date also marks what is regarded as day one of the Nazi Holocaust – the so-called “Kristallnacht” (“night of broken glass”) of 1938 when Hitler’s henchmen ransacked more than 1,000 synagogues. The organised mass violence was just a mild foretaste of what lay in store for Europe’s Jews.
Berlin has not spent much time on the wall anniversary this year – not least because this November marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Those who witnessed the event in 1938 and survived were mostly young children at the time. Their number dwindles each year.
So Berlin is being left to rely increasingly on the likes of Gunter Demnig. Back in 1992 the artist came up with the idea of sinking little brass plaques bearing the names of Holocaust victims into the pavements outside the homes from which they were dispatched to the death camps. Called “Stolpersteine” or “stumbling stones”, there are now thousands of these plaques all over Germany. Berlin is no exception; there are scores of them set in the stone pavements of the still mainly gas lit streets near my flat. To mark this year’s anniversary, somebody decided to put candles on several of the “Stolpersteine”. Viewed unwittingly from a distance they just looked pretty. Yet the effect was misleading. From close up the immense yet unexpected sadness was instant.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...
£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...
£55000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Corporate Marketing Communications M...