Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 4: Friday August 9, 2013

For our final full day in Berlin, we started out at the Berlin Wall memorial to those who were killed trying to escape to the former West Germany. A picture was up on a wall inside the museum of JFK riding in a open car during his famous visit to Berlin in June 1963. It's funny that our President was safe in an open car in a foreign country, but not here in our own. There is a short movie which shows not only the background and history of the wall, but also a design of just how hard it was for people to escape. The barriers they faced stretched far beyond a single wall. After finishing the movie we went outside, where a portion of the wall remains. There are also signs around the area of the memorial which point out the different layers of the so-called "death strip."
When we left the museum, we went to meet up with an old rabbi friend of my grandfather, whom he hadn't seen in fifty years. We met for lunch at an Indian restaurant, where I had another unimpressive Alster.
At night, we went to services at a synagogue a few blocks away from our hotel. In order to get into the synagogue, you have to go through security. The entire building is guarded by German policemen. It's pretty ironic that the German police is guarded a Jewish institution, when 75 years ago, they'd be standing outside as it burned to the ground. The services were held in a small room on the top floor of the large synagogue, where about fifty people attended. There was a group of college kids from Pittsburgh at the service who we talked to afterwards.

Beer of the day: Neumarkter Lammsbräu Pilsner-really good

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