Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 1 - Berlin

After an all night flight from the states, we began our day by meeting our German guide Olaf at the airport and immediately began learning about the wonderful city of Berlin. As we drove to the hotel, Olaf explained some of the history of the city of Berlin, including the East-West division post World War II until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Once at our hotel, we met up with the group from Bishop O'Dowd in Oakland, CA. Shalmi Barmore, our historian for the entire Holocaust Study Tour greeted us and we were on our way to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. While there, Shalmi discussed the meaning of this modern memorial in the "center of the center of Berlin". In contrast to traditional memorials this modern memorial is purposefully ambiguous; we are not told what it is- we are free to judge and walk inside and experience it. After having time to interact with this outdoor exhibit students had the following reactions: Sammy Bell - The memorial symbolizes that Jews during the Holocaust did not know what to expect: around the corner you meet the unexpected like when someone ran by me inside the memorial and it startled me.

Greg Winkler - You felt more trapped as you descended into the memorial, it was harder and harder to get out.

After experiencing the central memorial, we walked across the street to the memorial in the park dedicated to the homosexual victims during the Holocaust. One of the issues discussed here was that the memorial itself seems to be hiding. This exhibit broaches the ongoing modern discrimination of the gay community worldwide.

We ate lunch at Potsdamer Platz and then went to the newly opened exhibit - The Topography of Terror - the site of the bureaucratic machinery that carried out Nazi policy including the SS and the Gestapo. Tomorrow Shalmi will lead us in a morning discussion that will address the essential questions surrounding Berlin and the "Final Solution" which will frame Day 2.


  1. Sounds like the trip got off to a great start! I would love to know a little more about how this years participants feel about the ambiguity of the memorial you visited today, especially since this memorial takes such a different approach then those that you will see as the trip progresses. I think it would be an interesting topic to discuss once more memorials are visited.

  2. Thanks Meredith! We just finished debriefing and each student expressed their perspective on the ambiquity of the memorials today. Most students were intrigued by the expressive nature of the modern memorials and preferred this form of remembrance.

  3. Fascinating. I remember how the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was being completed when our group went back in 2005 and we weren't able to explore and have the visceral response these kids experienced today.

  4. I wonder what the group this year would define as inappropriate behavior at a memorial such as that. Being as large and open as it is in a public area might change how people act towards it. Does its significance deteriorate as it is implemented into a daily routine for the people of Berlin? Who knows, make answers for yourself!

  5. The one negative that I can think of to the ambiguity of this memorial is that as time passes and we get farther and farther removed from the tragedies that occurred. Will the somewhat unmarked experience lose its impact?

  6. A constant motif that has appeared during my study of the Holocaust has been the uncertainty experienced by the Jews. Uncertainty about the fate of the deported Jews, uncertainty about the whereabouts of family and friends, uncertainty about if they will be able to eat, uncertainty about if they will survive. Everyday was lived in fear, not knowing what was to come. I think that the mazelike, trapping, and uncertain design of the memorial truly helps people to begin to understand the depth of the suffering of Jews and other persecuted people during the Holocaust.

  7. This is sooo true... whether it was one person or 11 million people who were killed this was still a harmful act. To think that one person can influence thousands of people to act in such a cruel way is astonishing. Six millions Jews suffered for one mans selfishness. I'm sure this memorial expresses to the students who experienced this , that this is a eye-opener and no one should ever doubt the Holocaust happened because right here, this IS proof.

  8. It is interesting to learn that there is a memorial to the homosexual victims of the Holocaust. Most people will look at the Holocaust and directly relate it to the massacre of the Jewish population and will not recognize that there were still a lot of other groups that were persecuted. The monument serves as respect to the victims that died but also can serve as a reminder that homosexuals deserve complete acceptance in today's world.

  9. It's neat that there is a memorial for the homosexual victims of the Holocaust. The gay people that live in Berlin now must be proud and happy that there is a memorial like that in the city. I wonder if there are any memorials in the United States for gay soldiers or any other group like that.
    -Dashawn Harden

  10. Hello,

    You all don't waste any time jumping right into the sightseeing and beginning the emotional rollercoaster of your tour. I really enjoyed how Day 1 in Berlin the different memorials you all saw allowed each visitor to experience the memorial for themselves and take it in how they perceive it. This experience is very moving for you all being able to interpret it how you want and feel for yourself all the emotions. It is interesting how Greg said as you went further into the memorial he felt more and more trapped and it felt harder to get out. I think that symbolizes how many victims felt during the Holocaust with each passing day feeling more trapped and feeling that there was no tomorrow. The homosexual memorial is situated strategically, somewhat hidden from society, much like many homosexuals today feel separated from society. Enjoy your next few days!

    -Laura Negley

  11. I hope I properly understand this but is the memorial a series of cement blocks arranged similarly to a maze? Why would they make this memorial so ambiguous? This is a huge event in history so I think that you should be able to understand what it is for and what it represents. Maybe it has a deeper symbolic meaning of the confusion of the time or the generalization of all those who were killed.

  12. cisco

    bank repossession marbellaAn American investigation in December found fault with both American and Pakistani troops for the deadly exchange of fire, but noted that the Pakistanis fired first from two border posts that were not on coalition maps, and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops. Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and ascribed most of the blame to the American forces.

  13. immobilier

    Research papers\
    Gen. James N. Mattis, the head of the military’s Central Command, is scheduled to hold long-delayed meetings this week in Islamabad with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani Army chief of staff, to discuss the airstrike investigation, as well as new border coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the episode.

  14. Portable Applications Download

    New York Personal Injury LawyerIt is no coincidence, then, that a Santorum voter like Carissa Wilson has grown up in the suburban sprawl between two cities with strong Catholic heritages, Dayton and Cincinnati. Like the Michigan autoworkers in 1980 who made a break with Democratic tradition to vote for Ronald Reagan, Miss Wilson just may be the embodiment of a new wave.

  15. 3 Mobile Promo Code

    Dentist In Colorado SpringsHeading into the first of three days of Supreme Court arguments on Monday, the pavement occupied by the approximately 15 people in line Sunday morning was among the most coveted real estate in Washington. Tickets are scarce even for those connected to the case. And for everyone else, there’s the line.

  16. auto folie kopen

    Auto Trader
    As top-level negotiations continued, at least 59 people were killed as government forces shelled buildings and snipers fired on civilians in Syria on Monday, opposition activists said.
    Heavy shelling rained on Homs, which has been a hotbed of anti-government sentiment, opposition activists said. At least 33 people were killed there, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

  17. fiber cable

    Luton minibus
    Then there's the possibility of Syria's vice president taking power after an al-Assad downfall.
    "The opposition, at first, talked about Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa as interim president ... but this is becoming highly unlikely" as the carnage and anger mount in Syria, Jouejati said.

  18. clases de guitarra

    buy photos online
    you WANt the Good life , we play-out WEstern useage, the world is not a toil for household to re-estabished MYTHS. The logos we withstand is pursued and allocated everywhere and the defeat of it is the loss of MILLION. I dont run any country but the fact are inforced on those with aurthrity to enclave the vaules that strive as pursuits of happiness. DEATH is real and if you can tolorate it be that what way.

  19. silver charms for charm bracelets
    caravan annex
    Predicting the result in any Supreme Court case, much less one that will define the legacies of a president and a chief justice, is nothing like a science, and the case could still turn in various directions. But the available evidence indicated that the heart of the Affordable Care Act is in peril.

  20. Cowboy Buckle Boots

    OHSAS 18000
    The earth changing is man made? No you are a conspiracy nut. Plates shift, volcanos erupt, and glaciers melt. Thats what they have always done and will continue to do whether a man is present on this earth or not.

  21. portable displays

    "Changing materials and also the architecture of processors and memories is critical to exascale's success," he says.
    "We are beginning to understand the challenges of exascale in terms of hardware, software and applications. We are at the stage where we can make mental projections and set up directions for research."

  22. jobs

    relogios italianos
    Crimes against humanity are a serious charge against any state. To know that such evidence exists and continues to be collected will doubtless be causing concern to some in Damascus. For all their apparent willingness to engage in the bombardment against a civilian population there must be those within the regime pragmatic enough to realize that such evidence can, and almost inevitably will, be used against them if the regime falls and justice prevails.

  23. Middle East Commercial Directory

    Chiropractor Fort Collins CO
    This is CNN's attempt at getting the American people all fired up to still be behind invading Syria, a country that can handle itself.

    Assad said over the weekend the revolt was "over". Didn't see that making the front page? Why not? Because we are going in there no matter what to overthrow Assad, just look at what Hiliary Clinton and the Saudis were doing over the weekend. Setting up a multi-million dollar account to help fund and arm the "rebels".

  24. keratin hair treatment

    cheap balenciaga handbags
    Pawlenty: Santorum 'lashing out' Santorum: 'Pennsylvania, you know me' Santorum looking ahead to PA primary Obama looking ahead to Romney face-off?
    Make no mistake: Santorum campaigned hard in Wisconsin, raising the stakes for the primary.
    He ignored Maryland, the night's other big prize, and hit the Wisconsin bowling alley-and-cheese curd circuit, telling voters how a win there would shake up the GOP race.

  25. web design leeds

    Reliability Centered Maintenance services
    The coroner's report stopped short of detailing what happened to Houston, but HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction medicine specialist, examined the autopsy report for CNN and suggested she might have suffered a seizure brought on by the use of cocaine possibly combined with a withdrawal from alcohol and a prescription sedative.

  26. replicas de relogios Cartier

    cheap red wine
    "We must silence the tanks, helicopters, mortars and guns, and stop all other forms of violence, too: sexual abuse, torture, executions, abductions, destruction of homes, forced displacement and other such abuses, including on children," Annan told the U.N. General Assembly by video link from Geneva.
    Syria has been engulfed in violence since March 2011, when the government began a crackdown on peaceful protesters, and world powers are trying to stop the bloody government crackdown.

  27. موقع فوركس

  28. منتدى فوركس

  29. تداول عملات


    1. great Property in Marbella

      I would love to see spanish salad

      Hope to see more posting related to

      § Bank repossession in Marbella

  30. We Deals in Osteopathy Leeds with best techniques to restore perfect limit. we are best Osteopath Leeds City Center serving for Osteopath Bradford and Osteopath Batley. here are conceivable outcomes for the Osteopath Leeds, Osteopathy Leeds, Osteopath Leeds City Center, Osteopathy Leeds City Center, Chiropractor Leeds, Chiropractic Leeds, Chiropractor in Leeds and Chiropractic Leeds City Center.